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Moonlight 2016

R CC
4.5 out of 5 stars (38) IMDb 7.9/10

A moving, transcendent, award-winning look at 3 defining chapters in the life of Chiron, a young man growing up in Miami. His epic journey to adulthood, as a shy outsider dealing with difficult circumstances, is guided by support, empathy and love from the most unexpected places.

Starring:
Mahershala Ali, Alex Hibbert, Janelle Monáe
Runtime:
1 hour, 50 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Romance
Director Barry Jenkins
Starring Mahershala Ali, Alex Hibbert, Janelle Monáe, Naomie Harris
Supporting actors Ashton Sanders, Trevante Rhodes, André Holland
Studio A24
MPAA rating R (Restricted)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Paul Allaer TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 11, 2017
Format: DVD
"Moonlight" (2016 release; 110 min.) brings the story of Chiron. As the movie opens (and we are in "i. little", the first of the movie's three chapters), we see Chiron, a young boy of maybe 8 or 9, being chased by bullies. He ends up hiding in an abandoned motel where he is found by Juan, who takes pity on the boy and takes him home. When Chiron refuses to tell Juan or his girl friend where he lives, they let him spend the night. The next morning, Chiron does give his address, and Juan drives him home, where Chiron is berated by his mom. At this point we're not even 15 minutes into the movie, but to tell you more of the plot would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.

Couple of comments: this movie is written and directed by Barry Jenkins, who previously brought us "Medicine for Melancholy". Here, he tackles a topic near and dear to his heart (but it is not strictly auto-biographical): watching how a young boy grows up in the tough part of town in Miami. The movie follows three specific phases: youth, young adult, and adulthood. The story is at times devastating to watch. I can't really say much more than that, you'll just have to take my word for it. The most complex of relationships that the movie focuses on is the one between Chiron and his abusive and addiction-riddled mom. When once again they get into an argument, Chiron's mom blurts out "You're my only, and I'm your only!", as if that somehow justifies the abuse and the neglect suffered by Chiron. The movie is chock-full with outstanding acting performances, from the 3 actors who play the lead roles of Chiron and his friend Kevin, to Naomi Harris as Chiron's mom.
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Format: DVD
Directed by Barry Jenkins (Medicine for Melancholy) from a screenplay by Jenkins based on a story by Tarell Alvin McCraney, Moonlight is an incredible film with outstanding performances and a superbly crafted screenplay, probably the surprise critical hit of 2016.

It's kind of tricky to describe Moonlight without giving too much away, not because there are any big reveals or twists in the film but because it flows so beautifully that it's best to see it without knowing too much about where it's going in order to appreciate just how well crafted the screenplay is. It won't hurt though to say that the film consists of three "chapters", each covering a different stage of the main character's life and each titled with the name the character - Chiron - goes by at that stage of his life.

The first chapter is "Little", a nickname nine-year-old Chiron (Alex Hibbert in this segment) has picked up for being small in build and on the shy side. After running to escape some bullies, Little ends up being befriended by a local crack dealer named Juan (Mahershala Ali) and by Juan's kindly girlfriend, Teresa (Janelle Monáe). He gradually opens up to them as they treat him far better than his abusive drug-addicted mother, Paula (Naomie Harris), does. We also meet Little's closest - and possibly only - friend, Kevin (Jaden Piner in this segment). Juan, as we see, is a complex character. For all of his being a drug-dealer, Juan, who actually cares about Little, is the only positive male role model the boy has. It is Juan who tells him "At some point, you gotta decide for yourself who you're going to be. Can't let nobody make that decision for you.
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Comment 18 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
"Moonlight" is one of those movies that you have to seek out because it is not intended to be popular: it tells the truth, and, of course, the truth is not always popular. The film speaks to people of color and the gay community, as well as to those concerned with marginalized people in general. A perfect debut in the "Black Lives Matter" era, I thought.

It is revealing to note that the cast and filmmakers, in interviews, have sought to play down he movie's homosexual elements, seeking not to scare the horses further. I have seen the cast break down in tears in interviews, they are so moved by the film's content. There is also an interview of the author/screenplay author on "Gay USA" (YouTube).The author is a black gay man who recently won a prestigious literary prize.

Unfortunately, I suspect that homophobia may be keeping away audiences, whereas "Brokeback Mountain" managed to find some popular box office success. Marginalization is murder regardless of its origins.

Support this film. Stream it or purchase it because it will not come to your local movie theaters. You should be captivated by its truth and beauty.
3 Comments 45 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The subject matter, acting, direction, cinematography, and musical score are all as interesting and good as they come. Rarely have I set in a theater once a film has ended, and have been unable to move. Then I looked around and saw that more than half of the audience was also sitting still, quietly processing. I've never seen a film quite like this before.
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