Moonlight, directed by Barry Jenkins, won Best Picture at the Academy Awards this year.
For years I have always watched the Best Picture film after it was announced. I have never been disappointed (last year’s Spotlight is very high on my list of favorite films), and Moonlight was certainly no exception.
The film surrounds the struggles of a black gay man in Miami. He knows he is different from the other kids, and the other kids certainly know that as well. Unfortunately, his outsider status causes him to be bullied.
The main character is played by three actors (a young child, a teenager, and an adult) since the film chronicles his coming-of-age, so it is hard to pick one as the best. They all play the character of Little/Chiron/Black very well, but my personal favorite is Ashton Sanders.
Mahershala Ali won Best Supporting Actor for his performance, and while his appearance in the film is limited, he did an amazing job. He plays Juan, who is a father-figure to the main character.
He is also the first Muslim to win such an Oscar.
Naomie Harris’s performance was also nominated for Best Supporting Actress.
In interviews about the movie, Harris said she was reluctant to play character due to it being a stereotypical black female part.
However, she agreed, and the audience should be glad for it. Her acting appeared very real, and when I heard she filmed all of her scenes in three days I was shocked.
The colors in the film are also very beautiful. The cinematographer definitely took a lot of time looking at specific details.
Even before the snafu at the Oscars, there was debate over whether La La Land or Moonlight would win Best Picture.
La La Land is definitely a more feel-good film. Moonlight is completely the opposite; tears were in my eyes throughout most of the film.
However, I feel that Moonlight was more deserving of the title of Best Picture. Its importance as the first Best Picture film with an all-black cast and as the first Best Picture LGBT film cannot be denied.
The film, while amazing, should not be watched by young viewers. It has some graphic scenes, and I think it would be hard for them to understand the themes of the film anyway.
Overall, Moonlight is most definitely a movie you should see. It has important themes, great acting, and beautiful cinematography.
The movie is out now on DVD.