TrustMovies has so far seen, MOONLIGHT proves as quietly magnificent, immediately engrossing and enormously powerful as any film in years, if not memory. How does writer/director Barry Jenkins manage this? Rather than expound at great length (so much of this has already been done by others), I'll first ask that you see for yourself. You'll be glad you did. (And now I'll expound just a little.)
Medicine for Melancholy, I would not have expected anything this momentous. What this filmmaker, shown at right, has done is give us the Black experience in a way that seems both utterly specific and hugely encompassing. That he has chosen to show us this via a character who is gay (something not exactly considered a "plus" in the Black community) makes it all the more amazing. Further, he has used three very different actors -- who look almost nothing alike facially or in body type! -- to portray the character as a boy, an adolescent and a young man.
Alex R. Hibbert, as the boy), below (Ashton Sanders as the adolescent version), and further below (Trevante Rhodes, as the young adult),
What unites these three so disparate-looking males is their very "essence," which Jenkins and his actors have captured beautifully and profoundly via the situations, the dialog (kept to a minimum) and the all-round filmmaking skills. This essence is what holds the film together and slowly allows us to understand the meaning of "character."
Character building and identity are ongoing things, which Moonlight also helps us understand. The movie begins in media res and ends there, too, In between, we get all we need to enter, understand, and live in the life we encounter here. This is no small potatoes, particularly where the Black experience is concerned, and it's what makes Moonlight such an achievement.
Further, I suspect that this achievement will impact both the black and white communities. Whites will come away from the film more empathetic to the black experience than via any other fictional tale except perhaps The Wire (which still holds the prize for showing us that experience more fully and empathetically than anything else).
Mahershala Ali, shown above and below (from House of Cards), plays Juan, the mentor of our youngest iteration, and he's both a drug dealer and father figure.
André Holland, at right, as our boy's longtime best friend, Kevin), the movie will have you hanging on every heartbeat.
Cinepolis Grove 15 in Coconut Grove; in Broward County at the Cinemark Paradise 24 in Davie and the Gateway 4 in Fort Lauderdale; in Palm Beach County at Cobb's Downtown at the Mall Gardens Palm 16 in Palm Beach Gardens and at the Cinemark Palace 20 in Boca Raton. Click here to find the theater nearest you. Then go!