Date watched: Saturday 11th March 2017
Year of release: 2017
First time watching?: Yes
From IMDb: “A chronicle of the childhood, adolescence and burgeoning adulthood of a young black man growing up in a rough neighbourhood of Miami.”
We were honestly lucky to catch this movie in our local cinema. Even after it won it’s Academy Award it had very few showtimes, and at strange hours too, so when there happened to be a screening at 7:50pm on a Saturday evening we jumped at the chance to catch it before we missed it. This movie was totally deserving of it’s win.
Split into three parts, “Moonlight” follows the coming of age of Chiron, a young black man with a drug addicted mother who is relentlessly bullied by his peers for being different. Part one follows him as a very young boy; monosyllabic and just starting to question his place in the world. Part two follows his teenage years, where he first realises how serious his mother’s issues are and begins to come to terms with his sexuality. Finally the concluding third shows us the man he became, and where his life ended up.
My husband and I particularly seem to enjoy coming of age movies, and this was no exception to our liking. The pacing was relatively slow, but it was good to see events unfolding slowly, introducing you to things at a natural pace, without giving you an overload of information at the beginning then idling through everything later on.
To be honest, I found the third act somewhat lacking, though I think that has more to do with the fact that I personally tend to enjoy movies with teens at the centre of the storytelling than adults. That said, all three actors portraying Chiron during the different stages of his life were incredible, keeping the core of the character the same throughout the piece while still allowing for the inevitable character growth that comes with ageing to occur.
The movie felt beautifully shot and directed, and after viewing it is no surprise to me how it won it’s Academy Award. The blending of race, drug addiction and struggling with your own sexuality into one beautiful storyline could have been a train wreck, but this low budget movie handled it perfectly. Considering Chiron is almost mute for the first third, it didn’t take long to connect with him, and as you watch him grow it packs a seriously emotional punch. You definitely leave the cinema having some very deep thoughts after watching this film.
My rating: 8.5/10