Moonlight – Film Review

Moonlight is a film that I knew little about going in. I knew there was Oscar buzz surrounding the film and that it was told in 3 parts. After seeing this film I can summarize it as “Boyhood” meets “Brokeback Mountain” with a modern twist. What I really love about this film is not only its showcase of actors with diverse talent behind and infront of the screen but the story that is being told in a not hyperbolic or over the top setting that is very grounded and real. It isn’t over dramatize or thought of as fantasy — this situation happens in real life everyday.

The main character called, Chiron (also Little and Black), is a very relatable one in the urban community of Florida during the 90’s and 00’s. Someone just trying to fit in with a parent who isn’t very supportive or stable that is just trying to move forward in his life without the nurturing he needs. The story just felt so heartbreaking to watch. You wanted to help Chiron have the care he needs to grow up without falling down the slippery slopes of his mother or the faults of the community which is ruled by drugs.

You’re the only man who ever touched me.

The supporting cast is excellent. Janelle Monae, Mahershala Ali, and Naomie Harris are all solid performers who help shape the story to its clout. Naomie Harris as Chiron’s mother was superb. She went to such a dark place to the character she portrayed. She only had a few days to shoot her scenes which is quite impressive. I did like Mahershala Ali’s character, Juan, was a solid father figure to Chiron. I wished he was in more of the film. Janelle Monae is such a solid mother figure for Chiron through his youth. She is only in a few scenes but a memorable performance.

All the actors who played Chiron felt like a natural match. One of my main problems with the film is that I never felt like Chiron was gay. He was only gay because people in the film said he was. Sure there were actions later on that defined him as gay but I never got that connection. Regardless I am glad that a character of this real world issue has been put to screen. There are so many young teens/adults who are bullied because of fear and hate for no reason.

The vignettes were solid story arcs. I wish I got to know Chiron more than just those small snippet windows the film had. I could fill in some of the gaps between the 90’s 00’s and today but I felt like I needed more to establish his life choices. Chiron is a strong character who overcame a lot of personal issues of bullying to make himself a strong person. He felt real.

Overall this film I highly recommend for anyone to see that’s wanting to see something grounded that isn’t over dramatized for effect in the LGBTQ community. The poster design I liked how they composed the actors faces to make one portrait with 3 different purple type chrome tones.


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