Moonlight (2016)

Impression: It’s not just the story which is heartbreaking and poignant and timely.  The director is a true cinema geek, every little detail from the music to the amount of sweat on actors’ faces has been carefully thought out.  He said his favorite director is Claire Denis, and it shows. This film is a film buff’s dream come true (the cinematography, the music, the acting, the casting, everything). It’s as close to a perfect film as I’ve seen, and as close to a European film I’ve seen from an American filmmaker.
Facts: A coming of age story centers on Chrion, a quiet, poor, black kid growing up in a tough neighborhood in Miami, and follows him through to adulthood in a sequence of heartbreaking vignettes.
Extra: I saw this film at the Toronto International Film Festival. I started crying about 1/2 way into the movie and kept at it until after the Q&A ended. The audience stood up and clapped and kept clapping until Barry Jenkins asked them to stop. He took a bunch of questions, all of which he answered with a lot of depth and thought. Finally, a man raised his hand for the last question. Before he answered, Barry Jenkins said “Is that Jonathan Demme?” It was! He said “You, know if you didn’t tell us to stop clapping, we’d still be clapping.”
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5 thoughts on “Moonlight (2016)”

  1. I enjoyed reading your comments. The movie is already in danger of being over-hyped. For me, this film is a tapestry of lyrical moments and finely wrought detail on a journey for self-identity. Films like this do not come up often. Its not an original narrative in the least, but its artistry is in the filming and directing; its a film you savour for its pieces rather than whole.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s true that Moonlight is in danger of being over-hyped. I just gushed to a friend about it, and she went to see it and was not as excited. Expectations play such a huge role in how much I (and I assume others) enjoy movies. Some of my all time favorite movies have been ones I walked into with zero expectations and no knowledge of what I was about to see. I saw Moonlight in September, relatively early on a Sunday morning, after having waited in a line for an hour. I knew nothing other than that it takes place in Miami, where I spent part of my childhood too. I was blown away but what I saw.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. One has to be careful about recommending films. I honestly could not recommend Moonlight without knowing a lot about a person. The only film I gave five out five stars to last year was Son of Saul and again, I would not recommend it. These are serious films for cinephiles who are prepared to forego entertainment for immersion and visceral experience. This is pure cinema.

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