Moonlight: Movie Review

The movie Moonlight is directed by Barry Jenkins and stars Mahershala Ali, Naomie Harris, Janelle Monae, and Trevante Rhodes. Moonlight focuses on a boy named Chiron as a child, as a teen, and as an adult and how he matures and changes during those points in his life.

Moonlight is a real tale of growing up and the difficulties everyone faces. It is broken into three parts. The first part is entitled “Little” and focuses on Chiron’s life as a young kid in the Liberty City neighborhood (the ghetto) of Miami. He is a very quiet kid and is a bit of an outcast. He eventually befriends a drug dealer named Juan, played by Mahershala Ali, and the girlfriend of Juan, Teresa, played by Janelle Monae, who start to act as parental-like figures over Chiron’s biological, yet emotionally abusive mother, played by Naomie Harris. The second part is entitled “Chiron” and focuses on Chiron in high school. He is portrayed as a complete outcast who’s only  somewhat friend is a boy named Kevin. He struggles with a lot of bullying and does not get comfort from his mother, who has become even more of a drug addict than before. The only comfort Chiron gets is from Teresa and Kevin. Eventually, Chiron starts to discover something about himself, which eventually bites him back [no spoilers]. The third part is called “Black”. Chiron is now grown and living in Atlanta, working the streets. He displays more confidence and has really changed by displaying both physically and emotionally changes since his teenage years. He eventually goes back to Miami and reconnects with certain people he used to know. The rest cannot be stated because this is a spoil-free review.

Moonlight is one of the most perfect movies I have ever seen. The first thing that makes it stand out is the writing and the story. The script is has no plot holes and no irrelevant subplots. The writers also knew exactly what they are doing, setting up plots that are explored through all three parts. The story is powerful and it stays that way from the beginning to the end. It is a real story of growing up. The next reasons are the filmmaking, direction, and cinematography. All of the shots are perfect, using amazing lighting and and amazing angles. The incredible direction and cinematography enhance the script giving it more substance and empowering the words that are said. Lastly, the acting is amazing, with award worthy performances all around. The best performance is probably by Mahershala Ali, who played Juan. I think Ali will be put up a run for Best Supporting Actor at the Oscars. Other notable performances come from all three actors who play Chiron. In my opinion, the best of the three would have to be Ashton Sanders, who played teenage Chiron. He could possibly get a nomination as well.

All-around, I give Moonlight an A+ and I expect it to be nominated for numerous awards and, hopefully, win a couple. It is my early favorite to win Best Picture at the Oscars. I highly recommend it to people looking for an amazing, but serious, movie.

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