I Saw Moonlight

I finally saw it. Moonlight.

With this film I didn’t feel that a simple tweet did it justice, as I usually write a quick little tweet after I see a movie. However, I saw this film (with my mum might I add) and quite frankly I was just in awe. It faded to black, the title of the film came up on the screen, and both my mother and I just sat in the same position for at least three minutes. Then we had a little conversation about how weird and nice there was that half of the screening was filled with people over the age of 65.

Saying this film was beautiful is the understatement of the century. The cinematography was incredible, the colours were rich and warm. All three actors (Trevante Rhodes, Aston Sanders, and Alex Hibbert) were so quietly captivating, and Alex Hibbert has an amazingly deep voice for a 12 year old kid. I loved Mahershala Ali’s slightly misguided father-figure role; Naomi Harris’ performance was fucking heartbreaking; and whenever Janelle Monáe was on screen I couldn’t help but smile. This cast was unbelievably perfect, words cannot describe it. You just need to see their performances to understand.

There wasn’t really anything I would fault with this film – maybe the fact that there were multiple uses of handheld camera which makes me queasy. However, this time it worked. I usually think it’s used just because a director can. But Barry Jenkins used handheld camera in the best way – to portray Little’s littleness, his fear and the simple fact that he was running from bullies. Jenkins used it in the same way for Chiron too. I think. That’s the way I interpreted it anyway.

The best thing about this film in my eyes was the storytelling. It wasn’t wound up in songs or huge dance scenes or the fact that Ryan Gosling is pretty successful and Emma Stone kinda isn’t. Despite being Emma Stone. It was a simple story that wasn’t either, y’know? It was understated, and most importantly – it was written well. Unlike this review. It’s so important to have well-written coming-of-age stories that also happen to be queer stories. This community is already stereotyped to shit, and having poorly written movies will only exacerbate that. Moonlight was a breath of fresh, seaside air.

After the film, Mother Alison and I were talking about the film. I brought up with her how important this film was and how reverent it was, which she didn’t understand. She didn’t understand why I claim that Moonlight is a film that will go down in history and especially in a legendary-lgbt+ film kind of way. What I said to her made her stop for a moment – this film could stop a kid from killing themselves on behalf of who they are. And that is the primary reason why you should see this film.

 

Also Logan. Holy shit, that bloodbath was incredible. Wait for that review in a few days, I want to see it again.

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