Moonlight: Is This Impressive Film Hollywood’s Best Movie of 2016? [Review]

Days after I saw an advanced screening of Moonlight at Morehouse College, I felt haunted. I felt haunted by nothingness and silence. I tried to exercise this muted demon. I played music loud, I cried until tears fell down onto my ears and made it so I could hear the ocean forming in my earlobes. I asked my mom questions about my family that I had never found myself brave enough to ask before. These things would all suffice for a moment, but the silence was there shortly after like a persistent suitor, or the moon. Oblivion is a patient inevitability in that way.

And this is the type of film that Moonlight is.

It its hardly about what you saw for that hour-and-fifty-one minutes of your life. Instead, Moonlight is about how it echoes, or doesn’t echo, in the moments of your life afterwards. Some of the echoes are children’s laughs. Others are the echoes of eerie winds. However, Moonlight is the type of film that forces you to listen to both the activity and the interludes of silence in your own life.

For those unaware of what Moonlight is about, the film is a coming-to-age tale told in three parts involving a young boy that grows into manhood during the crack epidemic in 1980s Miami. Chiron, played beautifully by three different actors (Alex R. HibbertAshton Sanders and Trevante Rhodes), is grappling with his own sexuality and queerness while still going through the perils of a rocky home life. Moonlight was written by playwright, Tarell Alvin McCraney and directed by Barry Jenkins. Immersed in this environment, Chiron must navigate these drug-infected waters alongside his crack-addicted mother named Paula (played intensely and delicately by Naomie Harris), a smooth-talking drug dealer named Juan (Mahershala Ali) and his girlfriend, Teresa (Janelle Monae).

Chiron must also figure out himself as a sensitive person in an insensitive and harsh reality. Upon first meeting Juan in Moonlight, Chiron does not speak. In each scene, audiences are privy to the love, the torment and the curiosity that lies within Chiron, but due to his faithfulness to black traditions — he often stays silent.

Page: 1 2 3

Myles E. Johnson

Published by
Myles E. Johnson

Recent Posts

Here’s What Critics Are Saying About New Will Smith Film ‘Emancipation’

The embargo for new Will Smith film Emancipation has lifted. Some critics are calling Smith's portrayal of… Read More

December 1, 2022

Flying Lotus Talks New Audible Podcast & Gives Update on Next Film, ‘Ash’

 Flying Lotus spoke to Okayplayer about Alice Coltrane, spirituality, composing for film and television and… Read More

December 1, 2022

Erykah Badu Talks Hip-Hop With Bronx Rapper Ice Spice

Joined by her eldest daughter Puma Curry, Erykah Badu interviewed Ice Spice on what a… Read More

December 1, 2022

Kanye West Praises Hitler During Outrageous Appearance on Alex Jones’ ‘Infowars’

On Thursday, Kanye West spoke to right-wing and conspiracy theorist radio host Alex Jones about… Read More

December 1, 2022

A Bruce Lee Biopic is in the Works

Mason Lee, son of acclaimed director Ang Lee, is set to star in a biopic… Read More

December 1, 2022

Dapper Dan on Trying to “Destigmatize” the Hoodie

 On the eve of the release of his latest GAP hoodie, we briefly spoke to… Read More

November 30, 2022