Taking place mostly in a rough drug infested neighborhood of South Florida near Miami, the film “Moonlight” revolves centrally around the emotionally heartbreaking story of one young man's personal story told across three defining chapters in his life. The first delving into his withdrawn shy adolescence, then from the perspective of total isolation as a teenager devoid of any close friends and then as a 20 something adult man who is extremely guarded in making new relationships of any kind. In each three phases of his life the film tracks his daily struggles to find the courage within himself to accept his sexuality which is culturally taboo.
“Moonlight” is a brilliantly crafted film from new comer Director Barry Jenkins. It bathes itself in an authentic minute to minute reality that makes you feel you are occupying the same space. Mostly because the Director Jenkins had the courage for his cast to have long meaningful well-paced heart felt conversations with each other that at times were uplifting and other times would simply leave your soul crushed in half; you feel the pain and the torment.
The story’s structure overall is a very quiet and grounded film that takes no sharp turns from one scene to the next. There are no surprise endings or gimmicks to spring on you. No faux subplots to distract you. There is not one false move in the films story telling. There isn’t even an obvious sex scene which one would be surprised by given the core plot of the movie is the emotional matter of the young man trying to understand his own sexuality.
From the look of the film it’s obviously clear that “Moonlight” is a low budged film. But because the characters seemed so real in the moment the entire film’s story make it feels much bigger and grander than itself. It moves with a magnificence for the viewer’s benefit to understand the emotional conundrum of the young’s man’s journey. You don’t judge him or his story – you observe.
MOONLIGHT IS NOT ABOUT SEX. But what Moonlight is, is something both uniquely special, uniquely raw and uniquely authentic. It is also something that is very delicate. Something that is emotionally soaring. Something that is magically executed. Something that is very well acted across the board.
“Moonlight” is perfect each step of the way. And superlatively speaking, “Moonlight” is one of the best films for 2016. It will be in my Top 10 and has a good chance to be Nominated For an Academy Award as Best Picture.