Last night, Moonlight won Best Picture at the 2017 Golden Globes. If a film ever deserved the accolades, Moonlight is it.
It’s in my top 10 films for 2016. The tone, story, acting, atmosphere, & the way the lens settles upon the characters and settings is startling & beautiful. The way it slowly unpeels a boy’s life, how it shapes him into the man he becomes, is honest, raw, & resonates with fury. It also allows Mahershala Ali, who killed it in Marvel’s Luke Cage, to offer a take on a drug dealer that is truly human and pushes this film into defying categorization.
While I take the film to be a coming-of-age story (& I do so for personal reasons, having grown up w/out a father for many years myself), one of it’s most endearing qualities is that it doesn’t settle into any genre or category. It’s not a coming-of-age story, it’s not a gay film, it’s not a gangster flick—it is, simply, a film about somebody growing up & how his world shapes him. Nuff said.
In fact, Barry Jenkins, the director, had this to say: “We weren’t trying to do anything but tell our story. I think people respected that.”
We need more films like this. My 2 cents.
If you haven’t seen it, you should do so while it’s still in theaters. I call it voting with my wallet—supporting film makers you love by giving them that crucial bump when they can actually put asses in seats at your local multi-plex. Because those initial sales help those film makers get their next project green-lit.
And, trust me, we need more film makers like Jenkins making movies.