Moonlight reviews


Moonlight, 20 September, 2017 8pm

USA, 2016, Dir: Barry Jenkins, Drama, 111 mins (15).

Moonlight is a 2016 drama directed by Barry Jenkins. A chronicle of the childhood, adolescence and burgeoning adulthood of a young, African-American, gay man growing up in a rough neighborhood of Miami.

Barry's previous films include Medicine For Melancholy (2008) and My Josephine (2003).

The screenplay was written by Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney who wrote the unproduced play "In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue" upon which the story is based.

The film won 3 Oscars (Best Motion Picture, Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role and Best Adapted Screenplay) and has so far received another 205 international awards with a further 255 nominations.

This is the first LGBT film, and the first film featuring an all black cast, to win the Academy Award for Best Picture.

It was filmed in a variety of locations in Florida, USA, over 25 days in October and November 2015.

It has an estimated budget of $1,500,000. This is a lowest budget than any other 'Best Picture' winner since Rocky (1976), which cost a reported $1.1 million in its day. But if the budgets are adjusted for inflation, then Moonlight has to be regarded as the 'Best Picture' winner with the lowest budget ever.

There are no opening credits.

Naomie Harris had to shoot her entire role in three days, in between her promotional tour of Spectre and due to a visa problem (Harris is British). The scenes spanned 15 years in the character's life and were filmed out of sequence.

An early meeting with Brad Pitt helped director Barry Jenkins get the necessary funds and distribution deal he required.

When Juan teaches Little how to swim, Mahershala Ali is really teaching Alex R. Hibbert how to swim. When production started, Hibbert did not know how to swim.

"Barry Jenkins’s Oscar-nominated coming-of-age film is a heartbreaking, uplifting, minor-key masterpiece … a five-star symphony of love."
Mark Kermode, The Guardian (*****)

"A lyrical triumph that comes straight from the heart … What makes Moonlight distinctive is its offbeat quality and ability always to wrong-foot us: we know that Barry Jenkins comes from the world he is dramatising."
Geoffrey Macnab, The Independent (****)