‘Moonlight’: Is This the Year’s Best Movie?
To describe “Moonlight,” Barry Jenkins’s second feature, as a movie about growing up poor, black and gay would be accurate enough...But those classifications are also inadequate, so much as to be downright misleading.
It would be truer to the mood and spirit of this breathtaking film to say that it’s about teaching a child to swim, about cooking a meal for an old friend, about the feeling of sand on skin and the sound of waves on a darkened beach, about first kisses and lingering regrets.
Based on the play “In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue” by Tarell Alvin McCraney, “Moonlight” is both a disarmingly, at times almost unbearably personal film and an urgent social document, a hard look at American reality and a poem written in light, music and vivid human faces.
The stanzas consist of three chapters in the life of Chiron, played as a wide-eyed boy by Alex Hibbert, as a brooding adolescent by Ashton Sanders and as a mostly grown man by Trevante Rhodes. The nature and meaning of manhood is one of Mr. Jenkins’s chief concerns. How tough are you supposed to be? How cruel? How tender? How brave? And how are you supposed to learn?
DIRECTOR BARRY JENKINS, PLAYWRIGHT TARELL ALVIN MCCRANEY & THE MEN OF ‘MOONLIGHT’ TALK REDEFINING BLACK MALE IDENTITY IN FILM NARRATIVES