How did I not watch Moonlight' sooner?

Moonlight (2016) - IMDbStory 

Moonlight is a coming-of-age movie, that revolves around Chiron, during 3 stages of his life.

Throughout the movie, Chiron is trying to find out who he is, and that is something that many people experience at one point or another. For Chiron that is much harder given the fact that he is a gay man in a society that isn't very accepting of the LGBT community.

The movie also explores the difficulty Chiron faces in dealing with the physical and emotional abuse he endured when he was younger.


Mahershala Ali won the 'Best Supporting Actor' Oscar for this role as Juan and after watching the movie I understand. Juan is the first person in this film that shows Chiron kindness in the film. He becomes a surrogate father for Chiron and gives him advice while teaching him valuable life lessons.
Trevante Rhodes, Ashton Sanders and Alex Hibbert play Chiron at different points in his life, as an adult, teenager and child respectively. They all offer beautiful performances each with nuance, even though different actors are playing Chiron it still feels like you are watching the same character. Chiron as a character doesn't say a lot but they convey all the emotions they need to in their body language. You get a real sense of Chiron's conflicting emotions, he talks with another character Kevin about crying and it made me think about how men in today's society aren't encouraged to talk about their feelings and be vulnerable.
Naomie Harris plays Chiron's mother who is abusive and neglectful. During the first act, she says something to Juan that pretty much sums her up as a person and a mother. She doesn't show Chiron the care that he deserves and that also goes on to shape who he is later in the movie. Naomie gives a great performance, there are moments you feel empathy for her character even though she's not the person you should be rooting for.
Other actors in the movie like Janelle Monáe and André Holland aren't in the movie very long but their characters shape Chiron into the person he is at the end of the movie and their performances were very good. 


I haven't seen Barry Jenkins' other projects but any future projects will be on my radar.
The film is very subtle and that is one of its strengths. There are no quick edits and there is no shaky cam. That means as a viewer you are drawn into the performances of the lead actors.
The film is also very well lit. That seems like an odd compliment to give a film but when you watch the movie that statement makes sense, the actors stand out on screen rather than look washed out which sometimes happens with more harsh lights.

Overall Thoughts

This movie made me think about my life and essentially what I wanted to do with it. It made me question how I was moving through life. Throughout the film Chiron is scared. Scared of being bullied by other kids, scared of going home to his mother who is a drug addict and he is scared of his own sexuality and that is something that has shaped him all the way to adulthood.
This movie is a very easy film to watch, it clocks in at almost 2 hours and I wanted more when the credits started rolling. At the end, I said "Is that it?" out loud because I was invested in Chiron's story and wanted to see more of it.
The people who made this movie managed to create real characters with emotions and flaws and I recommend it.