A lot of movies over the past five years have been ‘hyped’ so much that they disappoint audiences and it can be easy to become cynical about a movie every one is talking about. Moonlight, however, deserves its hype. It is now playing at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre.
Moonlight is an American film, written and directed by Barry Jenkins, responsible for the 2008 indie flick, Medicine for Melancholy as well as various short films spanning his filmmaking career. It’s also worth mentioning that this movie won the Golden Globe for Best Picture and is nominated for eight Oscars including that of Best Picture.
This isn’t surprising considering the production companies working on this film are responsible for such award-winning films as Room and The Big Short. The story is well constructed and the dialogue says a lot about each character without shoving exposition down viewer’s throat.
The acting is full of subtlety and the child actors do a pretty fantastic job making the lines seem natural. You may recognize Naomie Harris as Ms. Moneypenny from the two most recent James Bond movies, as well as Janelle Monáe from her career as a singer/songwriter.
The cinematography is nicely done as well, with shots ranging from slow and steady to perpetually moving, all without distracting the viewer from what is going on. If I were to watch this film again, I would look out for the significance of food and the relevance of scenes with a shallow focus because everything in the background is blurry while the foreground is in sharp focus.
All in all, the hype surrounding this film is well deserved. This intimate and emotional look into a man’s struggles with sexuality and growing up deserves any awards it has been nominated for, but more importantly, it deserves to be appreciated by viewers like you.
Moonlight follows the story of Chiron in three chapters of his life. In the first chapter, Chiron struggles to be a normal kid while putting up with bullies and his drug-addicted mother. In the second chapter, his bullying continues while dealing with high school and coming to terms with his sexuality. The final chapter portrays him as a full-grown adult reuniting with lost love.
-Luke Webster, Assistant Arts & Culture Editor