Wow. Where to begin?
Homosexuality. Drug Abuse. Having a stronger bond with friends than blood. Barry Jenkins’ ‘Moonlight’ touches on so many heavy topics; one of the many beautiful things about this film is that it doesn’t beat you over the head with any of its subject matter.
Set in Miami over three acts, this is the story of Chiron (played by a different actor in each act), a quiet, emotionally guarded young man trying to find his place in the world. Internally and externally, it’s clear he’s ‘different’ from a very early age. How the people around Chiron react to him shapes the story. The local drug dealer who takes an interest in him (Mahershala Ali, continuing to shine with every opportunity he gets). Chiron’s mother, who has her own issues to deal with (Naomie Harris, who would have the Oscar locked up if Viola was slotted in the Lead category).
And Chiron’s childhood buddy Kevin (also played by three different actors for each act). Their relationship is the centerpiece of the film, so let me touch on it without spoiling it (if that’s possible). Is it a homosexual relationship. By definition, yes. But what pulled me (and apparently so many others) in was that, truly, it’s a great portrait of ‘intimacy’ regardless of sexual orientation. If you’re lucky you’ll have a handful of people in life you’ll feel completely comfortable being yourself with. There’s a monologue near the end that Chiron gives that’s so well done…you just have to see it.
So yep, loved it. Hope it keeps getting as much recognition as possible from now through February.