'Moonlight' film review
I was very lucky and I got to attend an advanced screening of the critically acclaimed film 'Moonlight'. It had been released in America before this but this was an advanced screening before its UK release. Thank you to the awesome friends who gave me their tickets!
Incredibly, I had very little idea of what to expect from this film, despite its multiple award nominations. 'Moonlight', directed by Barry Jenkins, is based upon the play 'In Moonlight, Black Boys Look Blue' by Tarell Alvin McCraney. It follows the story of a black boy in three stages of his life: as a young boy, as a teenager and as a grown man. 'Moonlight' follows his experiences in life as he explores his sense of being, sexuality and, most crucially, identity.
It's a very raw and emotional story and it's so incredibly real. It had this very gritty grounded realism to it that never once sugarcoated the difficulties and actualities of living in the characters' circumstances. The story itself is therefore exceptionally gripping and it feels very intimate in its quality. The themes explored in this film are ones that I personally resonated with in some ways. Obviously, I did not grow up in the same circumstances as these characters but some of the questions and struggling to accept one's true identity hit home for me in a way that I did not quite expect.
This truly is an exceptional film and it tells its tale in a very sensitive way that makes it worthy of the accolades it receives. Does it deserve Best Picture? I'd say yes, but it has some stiff competition with La La Land for that Oscar. Does it deserve performance related awards? Absolutely. Performance wise it was almost beyond comparison. Every character felt like a real person with vulnerabilities and who made mistakes like all of us rather than some hopped up Hollywood version of the character. The strength of performances across the cast, including the three actors who portrayed the main character, who is known alternatively as 'Little', 'Chiron' and 'Black' are truly worthy of such recognition, particularly the teenage 'Chiron''s actor, Ashton Sanders.
'Moonlight' is a film that cannot simply be described to you, it has to be seen. I've given this film 5/5 and it is truly worthy of it. It's not necessarily a film that is for everyone, but it is a film that anyone who calls themselves a regular moviegoer should see. This film evaluates the individual human experience in such a distinguishable way and I'd urge you to watch it before awards season ends.