2016 ( USA ) ( Drama )
STARRING: Alex Hibbert, Ashton Sanders, Trevante Rhodes
DIRECTOR: Barry Jenkins
Winner of 3 Oscars, including best picture, at this year’s Oscar ceremony, Moonlight is a simple, beautifully made and finely acted coming-of-age drama set in Miami from writer-director Barry Jenkins.
Divided into three chapters it follows the personal struggles of a gay African-American. Combining style and subtlety, Moonlight illustrates a liberating journey of self-acceptance that derives tension from the contrast between the tough Miami backdrop and the secret this shy boy keeps inside. Each of the film’s three parts is equivalently heart-rending in observing at close quarters Chiron as attention-starved child (Alex Hibbert), then persecuted teen (Ashton Sanders) and finally, a battle-scarred and mistrustful adult (Trevante Rhodes). Jenkins eschews judgement, allowing his superb cast the space to inhabit their characters quietly and truthfully, while the cinematography cultivates intimacy and emphasises alienation. Together they lay bare the experience of growing up poor, black and gay in a film of rare empathy and shimmering beauty.