***** Lauren Cox
The eight-time-oscar-nominated film Moonlight is a stunning coming of age story that follows one character on his journey from boy to man as he struggles with acceptance and his sexuality while growing up in the Miami projects.
Directed by Barry Jenkins, the groundbreaking film explores what it means to be a black gay man in the US. Never before has such a topic been so openly, proudly and beautifully explored.
From the very first scene Moonlight is completely captivating, with some scenes being so intense and personal that it almost feels like the audience is intruding, which is only testament to the fantastic directing and acting. Each and every phenomenal performance is heart-breaking, but still manages to be light-hearted and funny in parts.
Moonlight follows Chiron in three important stages in his life. We first see him as shy nine-year-old boy, teased by his peers and struggling with the relationship with his single mother (Naomi Harris). He finds refuge and friendship with Juan (Marhershala Ali) and his girlfriend Teresa (Janelle Monáe). We then see him as a teenager and then finally as an adult (Trevante Rhodes) secretly struggling with his own identity and painfully hiding his sexuality.
The original soundtrack of Moonlight, composed by Nicholas Britell, perfectly compliments the intimacy, intensity and tenderness of each scene and the Chopped and Screwed hip-hop sounds beautifully capture the feelings and emotion of the whole film.
After already picking up Best Drama Motion Picture at the Golden Globes, the film's chances at the Oscars later this month are looking good. Moonlight is just the kind of film that Hollywood has needed. It is inspirational, moving, original and, quite frankly, revolutionary and deserves all of the awards that it has been nominated for.
Moonlight lands in cinemas February 17. Visit moonlight.film for more information.
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