Moonlight Movie Review
A movie that will stick with you long after its end, Moonlight is a powerful, emotional and heartfelt drama that follows the life of a young black man who grows up in a rough neighborhood with a drug-addicted mother.
Split into three acts that each look at a different phase of the boy-turned-man’s life, Moonlight features superb performances by Alex Hibbert, Ashton Sanders and Trevante Rhodes, who all play the main character Chiron, as well as by Mahershala Ali, Naomie Harris and André Holland. Coupled with a fantastic screenplay that takes a believable, organic look at race, sexual orientation and more, Moonlight has all of the makings of a Best Picture candidate.
Moonlight sucks you in immediately and rarely loosens its grip, delivering an often mesmerizing experience. Director and co-writer Barry Jenkins makes the most of the music by Nicholas Britell and otherwise offers up a spectacular-looking film.
The film also gets stronger as it goes along, with Jenkins essentially wrapping things up with a third act that primarily consists of two extended scenes between a grown-up Chiron (Rhodes) and his estranged friend (Holland). Both actors deliver some of the best performances you’ll see all year, and the scenes are so well written you’ll almost forget you’re watching a movie.
Moonlight is an amazingly well done and superbly acted drama. Its nuanced story won’t appeal to everyone, but its coming-of-age story is extremely relatable and wholly engrossing.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.