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- 111 min.
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How refreshing it is to watch a film with an introverted protagonist. Chiron is struggling with a lot. It's complex. He's passive and a victim of his environment, but you can feel him trying to fight against it. There is a lot to identify with in this film. Yes, being gay is a big part of it, but there's a purity to it that makes it one of cinema's more understated, yet iconic romances.
Moonlight is the story of Chiron AKA "Little", who is both gay and black, growing up in Florida. Each of the three acts covers a different period in his life (ages so different, three actors are necessary). The film was sold on the idea that while there are films that present the black experience or the gay experience, the combination is pretty rare and deserves its own feature. And I will agree, the reality is distinct. Chiron exists in a culture where "manhood" and "swagger" are overwhelmingly important, and even though homosexuality seems to be broadly accepted in his world, copping to it seems entirely dangerous. The film's backgrounds are always in extremely soft focus, like Chiron's options. What should he do, how much should he reveal, what does he keep to himself, and is self-denial healthy? The film is in its protagonist's image, extremely timid. Things are inferred more than said or seen, sexual and emotional awakenings are discreetly presented as if not to intrude, and the visuals and sound design are thematically coherent with that idea. And of course, lovely acting across the board.
The film has strong content and themes, and I respect that people are loving that and speaking about it. However, the film was pretty average, despite all its praise and I was expecting more for such a highly regarded Oscar nominated film.
The colour grading was amazing and you really feel immersed in the film at times, but it just wasn't enough. It was at times, a bland film.
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In 8 official lists
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This movie ranks #9 in Best Of Rotten Tomatoes
This movie ranks #34 in TimeOut's 100 Best Romantic Movies
This movie ranks #75 in The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films
This movie ranks #90 in Academy Award Best Pictures
This movie ranks #106 in Reddit top 250
This movie ranks #144 in Golden Globe Best Picture Winners
This movie ranks #540 in Academy Award Best Picture Nominees
This movie ranks #996 in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die