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Moonlight review

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A 24


R. 111 min



One of the longshots to win best picture is a little film that's gotten a lot of critical attention thanks primarily to its subject matter is moonlight that chronicles approximately three decades of the life a black child coming of age and coming to grips with his sexuality in a drug riddled ghetto of Miami.


There are a few reasons that I call MOONLIGHT a long shot. First and foremost I think, at least at this writing, it's the lowest grossing of the eight Best Picture nominees. Second, and maybe more important, is that it's bleak and depressing feel fails to capture the empathy of anyone except for the handful of activist critics who claim to love it. Third while I'm sure the cinematography was meant to be stark it comes off as amateurish and often has that handheld look that's come in and out of fashion over the last few years. Fourth with the exception of a few flashes by blank who plays the drug-addicted mother (Naomie Harris) there are no performances of note.


Now apart from all this I still give MOONLIGHT credit for its ambitious subject matter.


Little Chirone doesn't understand why he feels different from the other kids. I don't think the other kids understand why some of them have hostile feelings toward him either but it seems to be the fact that he's homosexual even though he, and they, are probably too young to understand what that means. Ostracized by his peers and ignored by his crackhead mother Chirone finds a friend and mentor in a local drug dealer, Juan (Mahershall Ali)




His first walk on the wild side is with a school chum, Kevin, but this relationship ends in misunderstanding and heartbreak though it will reimage later in the film.


I won't give away more in the way of details but that's the basic plot. It is, I suppose, a new and different approach to filmmaking but in my opinion, almost devoid of any emotional traits that would make anyone empathetic to any of the characters. Almost that is, but almost wasn't enough to keep me involved in this slow-moving piece of drudgery.


I assume the filmmakers and the academy wanted very much to make a statement here but though I can respect that desire I can't recommend this as a motion picture.


I reluctantly give it a C- and that's only for the bold initiative. This is not an enjoyable film, and unfortunately not even particularly thought-provoking.






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