(SPOILER WARNING!!! This article does contain spoilers, if you haven’t seen the movie, just see the first paragraph to be informed without spoilers!!!)
Moonlight may be slow at times, but if you really dig deep into the characterization, it has some pretty powerful emotional moments!!!
Rating: 4 Stars
It’s the time where I’m checking out Oscar nominated movies. Since I doing this, I have been pleasantly surprised on how good a film can be, but sometimes I’m greatly disappointed. For example, last year I was really impressed with how powerful the film Room is, but also last year, I was highly disappointed that Brooklyn was too boring. Sometimes these Oscar nominated films are worth the hype, and sometimes it is overhyped. (Maybe because of the high expectations of an Oscar nomination). Regardless, it is a fun time to watch films. The film Moonlight is getting really high praise and Oscar buzz, so I checked it out, not knowing what to expect.
What I Like: The acting was tremendous from the three actors playing the role of Chiron, to Naomie Harris playing his crack addict mother, to the three actors playing his friend, Kevin, and Mahershala Ali playing Juan, a drug dealer, who took care of Chiron as a kid. Each of them created emotionally powerful moments through strong dialogue and chemistry. Probably the most powerful moment was when the kid Chiron called out Juan for selling drugs to his mother. When you see a tough man like Juan breaking down, all I can say is, wow, that was deep. The story mainly deals with Chiron as a kid, a high school student, and as an adult. His character deals with drug abuse, being neglected, bullying, struggling with homosexuality, and standing up for himself. It shows how much he matures, but still struggles to find himself. It is crazy to see this character not knowing what he really wants, until he finally finds it in his friend and lover, Kevin, who has been with him since the beginning. I liked the direction of Barry Jenkins in this film. His style creates strong action and pulls just the right tone and emotion from his actors. I also liked how he portrayed the slums of the city of Miami. It shows that the city is not just the glitz and glamour, but it has a rough neighborhood as well where people struggle. He painted a great picture of the culture in the city of Liberty City.
The So S0: I wish I could have seen more of what happened to Juan after that powerful interaction with kid Chiron. See what he did for himself afterwards, but it just stopped there. With that said, the story wasn’t about him, it was about Chiron, so it is forgivable. But I’m still curious what happened to him.
What I Didn’t Like: There were slow moments that dragged the movie along. It was dialogue that really got me saying, “Get to the point.” When it finally does, either I liked or brushed it aside. There were too many moments like that for me that made the difference between a good movie and a great movie.
Overall: It is a film with deep characterizations and powerful moments that make you think about how people internally struggle with many different things. Yes, it may be slow at times, but you really have to give it a chance to understand how each scene develops Chiron. I can see why some people won’t like it, but I can tell you that you have to see this film twice to get the points it tries to make. Then you see how powerful it is!!!
Rating: 4 Stars
(Sidenote: Cafe Society- Another typical Woody Allen film dealing with a time period, this time the 30’s, interesting dialogue, and a romance. I thought the acting was great with Jesse Eisenburg, Steve Carell, and Kristen Stewart. However, I thought the story was subpar with a typical love triangle. Once it ended, it really had me questioning, “What’s the main point of this movie?”
Rating: 3 Stars)