Having seen some great movies towards the end of 2016 and the early part of 2017 I was expecting something so much more from Barry Jenkins much acclaimed MOONLIGHT a film that spans the early life of Chiron an African American living and growing up in Miami….
I must first say I did actually enjoy MOONLIGHT some of the movies visuals and photography was a delight, especially the school fight scene, the beach and restaurant shots were impressive, I even thought some of the performances are worth a mention specifically the three actors who played the same character growing up through the years, Alex Hibbert, Ashton Sanders and Trevante Rhodes all three were top notch as was the delightful Janelle Monae and Naomi Harris but in fairness as a movie MOONLIGHT did nothing too excite, it’s certainly a good movie but not a great one is “it’s play it safe narrative” is nothing we haven’t seen before, the topic of sexuality was not conclusive, I felt here was a kid growing up damaged by his drug and drink addicted mum who just wanted to be loved by whom ever (whether that be Juan played by Mahershala Ali a local drug dealer or Kevin played by André Holland) so yes it was a little bit about self discovery, and maybe confusion but that was all I felt it was – I felt the way Jenkins handled the transition of Chiron growing up was not great, too many questions were left unanswered which was a shame – what did happen to Juan? and how did his mum suddenly appear in a drug treatment facility these were small things but big in the context of the story….
Sadly there is no sugar coating here, although I enjoyed MOONLIGHT the movie has been used by the Academy and others as a political tool for Award Season, the lack of black representation at last years OSCARS was highlighted so this year MOONLIGHT and other movies of similar ilk have been way OVER praised and given more credit than necessary – Barry Jenkins MOONLIGHT is a decent picture but nothing more…. ★★★½