Film review – Moonlight (Barry Jenkins, 2017)

Barry Jenkins’s cinematic tryptich, which serves as a revealing cross-analysis of homosexuality in the black America community, is a film that will do nothing if not leave a lasting mark on your memory. It’s complex. It’s provocative. It’s beautiful. It’s absolutely brilliant.

Split into three equal sections, the film comprises extended vignettes based around Miami-based Chiron. As a child he is portrayed by Alex Hibber at a time in his life where he is a loner, lacking support from his drug-addict mother (Naomie Harris) and feeling isolated at school. As a college student he is portrayed by Ashton Sanders as he struggles to cope with his mother’s growing addiction but also has his first sexual encounter with a childhood friend. The third section of the film covers a late-20s Chiron (Trevante Rhodes), now much hardened to life and living away from his home city in Atlanta, but returning to visit his mother and that same childhood friend.

Much like Lion earlier this year, Moonlight is a triumph due to several actors portraying its central character at different stages of his life. Each of the performances is well nuanced, but build up a complex picture of Chiron, the pay-off being in the final third as we realise what he has become is every bit influenced by what we’ve seen of him as a child.

Moonlight

Where Moonlight really excels though is its ability to steer away from the stereotypes almost every mainstream film portrays these types of characters as. This is a tale about a homosexual black American which allows neither the colour of his skin nor his sexuality to define him.

Aside from the lead character, there is an exceptional contribution from Mahershala Ali as Juan, a drug-dealer who comes across a young Chiron hiding from some bullies in a property he owns. Rather than what we’d have come to expect, which would probably involve some amount of grooming and exploitation, instead we see him become a father figure for the child, teaching him how to swim and offering him a place to sleep and food to eat. It’s refreshing to see a character exist in this manner and hopefully this is a sign of things to come at cinemas. It’s no surprise that it has earned Ali an Oscar nomination.

It’s a personal film that deserves all the plaudits it has received. With a timely release during Black History Month, a film that challenges the status quo has to be welcomed with open arms by the forward thinkers of the world, even if it seems like backwards thinking is taking over the world.

Academy Awards 2017 – Full list of nominees (text only)

Here’s a full list of the nominees for the 89th Academy Awards, announced earlier today ahead of the awards ceremony on 26th February 2017.

Best picture
“Arrival”
“Fences”
“Hacksaw Ridge”
“Hell or High Water”
“Hidden Figures”
“La La Land”
“Manchester by the Sea”
“Lion”
“Moonlight”

Lead actor
Casey Affleck
Andrew Garfield
Ryan Gosling
Viggo Mortensen
Denzel Washington

Lead actress
Isabelle Huppert
Ruth Negga
Natalie Portman
Emma Stone
Meryl Streep

Supporting actor
Mahershala Ali
Jeff Bridges
Lucas Hedges
Dev Patel
Michael Shannon

Supporting actress
Viola Davis
Naomie Harris
Nicole Kidman
Octavia Spencer
Michelle Williams

Best director
Denis Villeneuve
Mel Gibson
Damien Chazelle
Kenneth Lonergan
Barry Jenkins

Animated feature
“Kubo and the Two Strings”
“Moana”
“My Life as a Zucchini”
“The Red Turtle”
“Zootopia”

Animated short
“Blind Vaysha”
“Borrowed Time”
“Pear Cider and Cigarettes”
“Pearl”
“Piper”

Adapted screenplay
“Arrival”
“Fences”
“Hidden Figures”
“Lion”
“Moonlight”

Original screenplay
“Hell or High Water”
“La La Land”
“The Lobster”
“Manchester by the Sea”
“20th Century Women”

Cinematography
“Arrival”
“La La Land”
“Lion”
“Moonlight”
“Silence”

Best documentary feature
“Fire at Sea”
“I Am Not Your Negro”
“Life Animated”
“OJ: Made in America”
“13th”

Best documentary short subject
“Extremist”
“4.1 Miles”
“Joe’s Violin”
“Watani My Homeland”
“The White Helmets”

Best live-action short film
“Ennemis Interieurs”
“La Femme et le TGV”
“Silent Nights”
“Sing”
“Timecode”

Best foreign language film
“A Man Called Ove”
“Land of Mine”
“Tanna”
“The Salesman”
“Toni Erdmann”

Film editing
“Arrival”
“Hacksaw Ridge”
“Hell or High Water”
“La La Land”
“Moonlight”

Sound editing
“Arrival”
“Deep Water Horizon”
“Hacksaw Ridge”
“La La Land”
“Sully”

Sound mixing
“Arrival”
“Hacksaw Ridge”
“La La Land”
“Rogue One”
“13 Hours”

Production design
“Arrival”
“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”
“Hail Caesar!”
“La La Land”
“Passengers”

Original score
“Jackie”
“La La Land”
“Lion”
“Moonlight”
“Passengers”

Original song
Audition (La La Land)
Can’t Stop the Feeling (Trolls)
City of Stars (La La Land)
Empty Chair (Jim)
How Far I’ll Go (Moana)

Makeup and hair
“A Man Called Ove”
“Star Trek Beyond”
“Suicide Squad”

Costume design
“Allied”
“Fantastic Beasts”
“Florence Foster Jenkins”
“Jackie”
“La La Land”

Visual effects
“Deepwater Horizon”
“Doctor Strange”
“Jungle Book”
“Kubo”
“Rogue One”

Golden Globes 2017 – Full list of winners

Here’s a complete list of all the winners and nominees at the Golden Globes last night.

FILM

Best motion picture – drama
Winner: Moonlight
Hacksaw Ridge
Hell or High Water
Lion
Manchester by the Sea

Best motion picture – comedy or musical
Winner: La La Land
20th Century Women
Deadpool
Florence Foster Jenkins
Sing Street

Best performance by an actor in a motion picture – drama
Winner: Casey Affleck – Manchester by the Sea
Joel Edgerton – Loving
Andrew Garfield – Hacksaw Ridge
Viggo Mortensen – Captain Fantastic
Denzel Washington – Fences

Best performance by an actress in a motion picture – drama
Winner: Isabelle Huppert – Elle
Amy Adams – Arrival
Jessica Chastain – Miss Sloane
Ruth Negga – Loving
Natalie Portman – Jackie

Best performance by an actor in a motion picture – comedy or musical
Winner: Ryan Gosling – La La Land
Colin Farrell – The Lobster
Hugh Grant – Florence Foster Jenkins
Jonah Hill – War Dogs
Ryan Reynolds – Deadpool

Best performance by an actress in a motion picture – comedy or musical
Winner: Emma Stone – La La Land
Annette Bening – 20th Century Women
Lily Collins – Rules Don’t Apply
Hailee Steinfeld – The Edge of Seventeen
Meryl Streep – Florence Foster Jenkins

Best performance by an actor in a supporting role in a motion picture
Winner: Aaron Taylor-Johnson – Nocturnal Animals
Mahershala Ali – Moonlight
Jeff Bridges – Hell or High Water
Simon Helberg – Florence Foster Jenkins
Dev Patel – Lion

Best performance by an actress in a supporting role in a motion picture
Winner: Viola Davis – Fences
Naomie Harris – Moonlight
Nicole Kidman – Lion
Octavia Spencer – Hidden Figures
Michelle Williams – Manchester by the Sea

Best director – motion picture
Winner: Damien Chazelle – La La Land
Tom Ford – Nocturnal Animals
Mel Gibson – Hacksaw Ridge
Barry Jenkins – Moonlight
Kenneth Lonergan – Manchester by the Sea

Best screenplay – motion picture
Winner: Damien Chazelle – La La Land
Tom Ford – Nocturnal Animals
Barry Jenkins – Moonlight
Kenneth Lonergan – Manchester by the Sea
Taylor Sheridan – Hell or High Water

Best animated feature film
Winner: Zootopia
Kubo and the Two Strings
Moana
My Life as a Zucchini
Sing

Best foreign language film
Winner: Elle
Divines
Neruda
The Salesman
Toni Erdmann

Best original score – motion picture
Winner: Justin Hurwitz – La La Land
Hans Zimmer, Pharrell Williams, Benjamin Wallfisch – Hidden Figures
Dustin O’Halloran, Hauschka – Lion
Johann Johannsson – Arrival
Nicholas Britell – Moonlight

Best original song – motion picture
Winner: City of Stars – La La Land
Can’t Stop the Feeling – Trolls
Faith – Sing
Gold – Gold
How Far I’ll Go – Moana

TELEVISION

Best television series – drama
Winner: The Crown
Game of Thrones
Stranger Things
This is Us
Westworld

Best television series – comedy or musical
Winner: Atlanta
Black-ish
Mozart in the Jungle
Transparent
Veep

Best mini-series or motion picture made for television
Winner: The People v OJ Simpson: American Crime Story
American Crime
The Dresser
The Night Manager
The Night Of

Best performance by an actor in a television series – drama
Winner: Billy Bob Thornton – Goliath
Rami Malek – Mr Robot
Bob Odenkirk – Better Call Saul
Matthew Rhys – The Americans
Liev Schreiber – Ray Donovan

Best performance by an actress in a television series – drama
Winner: Claire Foy – The Crown
Caitriona Balfe – Outlander
Keri Russell – The Americans
Winona Ryder – Stranger Things
Evan Rachel Wood – Westworld

Best performance by an actor in a television series – comedy or musical
Winner: Donald Glover – Atlanta
Anthony Anderson – Black-ish
Gael Garcia Bernal – Mozart in the Jungle
Nick Nolte – Graves
Jeffrey Tambor – Transparent

Best performance by an actress in a television series – comedy or musical
Winner: Tracee Ellis Ross – Black-ish
Rachel Bloom – Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
Julia Louis-Dreyfus – Veep
Sarah Jessica Parker – Divorce
Issa Rae – Insecure
Gina Rodriguez – Jane the Virgin

Best performance by an actor in a mini-series or motion picture made for television
Winner: Tom Hiddleston – The Night Manager
Riz Ahmed – The Night Of
Bryan Cranston – All the Way
John Turturro – The Night Of
Courtney B Vance – The People v OJ Simpson: American Crime Story

Best performance by an actress in a mini-series or motion picture made for television
Winner: Sarah Paulson – The People v OJ Simpson: American Crime Story
Felicity Huffman – American Crime
Riley Keough – The Girlfriend Experience
Charlotte Rampling – London Spy
Kerry Washington – Confirmation

Best performance by an actor in a supporting role in a series, mini-series or motion picture made for television
Winner: Hugh Laurie – The Night Manager
Sterling K Brown – The People v OJ Simpson: American Crime Story
John Lithgow – The Crown
Christian Slater – Mr Robot
John Travolta – The People v OJ Simpson: American Crime Story

Best performance by an actress in a supporting role in a series, mini-series or motion picture made for television
Winner: Olivia Colman – The Night Manager
Lena Headey – Game of Thrones
Chrissy Metz – This is Us
Mandy Moore – This is Us
Thandie Newton – Westworld