Moonlight

November 6, 2016 at 1:15 pm | Posted in 2016 | Leave a comment
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Sometimes, a film is so awful that I find I have virtually nothing to say about it. Then, there are times like this one, when a film is so close to perfect, it also leaves me speechless. “Moonlight” may prove to be my favorite film of the year and, as an exercise in curiosity, it is worth comparing it to my one other 5 lozenge movie so far this year: “Swiss Army Man.” They could not be more different. While that one is shocking, vulgar, profane, and absurd, this film is so earnest and painfully real. Every single moment felt exactly right, because every single moment felt completely true. The film tells the story of one boy growing into a man. Growing up on tough streets in Miami, we watch the young boy nicknamed Little become the teenager Chiron and then the fully grown Black. Circling around him are the various men and women and boys who will help shape and haunt him. I really cannot convey how right this movie felt to me. I do not know this community but I absolutely believe that Tarell McCraney does. McCraney’s play, “In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue” is the basis for this film. I am familiar with McCraney and was blown away by his play, “The Brothers Size” when I saw it many years ago. Like much of his other work, “Moonlight” deals with intimacy of all sorts between Black men, but sexual intimacy in particular. It’s raw and touching and incredibly powerful. There are so many scenes I could talk about, but I will mention just one, when Black visits his old friend Kevin at a diner. From the clink of the bell as he walks in that door to the clink when they leave, that scene is perfect. Every moment is filled with unspoken, heavy emotion. Just watching the food get made was a joy because there was so much language in those images. Every look, every smile or pained expression, every held breath and long pause all said so much. The language of this film was not just in its words, but in its images and the final one was heartbreaking. There are many reasons to make films. To tell a simple, needed truth is a great one and this is a great film.

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