Popcorn Addict: Moonlight
Moonlight is a coming of age about a black male film directed and written by Barry Jenkins. Some actors you know and love were featured in the film, including Mahershala Ali (The Hunger Games, House of Cards, Luke Cage--He’s have a great year!), Naomie Harris (Spectre, Skyfall), and Janelle Monáe. The standout actors were Alex Hibbert, Ashton Sanders, and Trevante Rhodes, who played the protagonist, Chiron, in three separate acts depicting various stages of Chiron’s life.
I can’t really say much about this film without giving key parts away, but there were so many important themes that came out of this film:
Coming of age. Need for role models. Need for male role models. Need for black male role models. Poverty. Hypermasculinity. Toxic masculinity. Drug culture. Bullying. Struggles of LGBTQ youth and adults of color. Fear. Defining intimacy. Emerging adulthood. Identity. Connection. Love.
Moonlight was an amazing film with unique storytelling and imagery. The score was well-chosen—From the opening scene of the film when Boris Gardiner’s Every Nigger is a Star began playing to the chopped and screwed version of Jidenna’s Classic Man later in the film. Each of the three acts told an individual story, while themes and characters were interwoven throughout all of the acts. Though the dialogue was sparse at times (not a bad thing), the cinematography tells the story. My favorite scene is one in which Mahershala Ali’s character discussing the use of a slur with young Chiron. Naomie Harris was near unrecognizable and powerful in her portrayal of Chiron’s mother with substance dependency problems. Each Chiron gave an excellent picture into a boy/man struggling with his identity.
Although I do not get my hopes up for award season, Moonlight and its actors are certain earn nominations. It is a must-see film over the course of the holiday season. Unfortunately, it may be hard to find in certain areas despite its wide release (shout-out to Landmark Theater in Greenwood Village, CO for being one of two theaters in my metro city to be showing it!).