Beautiful. Provocative. Real.
Moonlight is a film that needs to exist. It is beautifully-shot, and stays with you, making you question and reflect. It’s a story rarely (if ever) told, and yet manages – with the perfect juxtaposition of both courage and restraint – to capture an authentic story of human existence.
Although the setting is about as far from my reality as possible (I’m a middle-class, straight, white male from Pennsylvania), it spoke to themes everyone can get behind: love; family; friendship; falling in love with a best friend; having trouble in high school; wanting to be anything but who you are. It’s widely lauded as a film that Hollywood would typically be terrified to touch – and it is – but it’s quite simply universal.
Will mainstream audiences enjoy it? Will they even see it? Probably not. It’s unconventional and at times it’s aggressively uncomfortable. At times you think you’re watching a documentary. And at times you think you’re right there with them, invested in their every move.
Naomie Harris is lights-out unbelievable. Even more so when you realize that she shot her part (she’s the only actor who appears in all three acts) in three days! And those scenes spanned 15 years of her characters life. And they were shot out of sequence. To say nothing of the fact that she played a cracked out disaster with an American accent, when in fact Naomie is a very regal, well-poised Brit. Five stars for her.
Moonlight is, as it’s tagline states, “The story of a lifetime.”