Moonlight (2016) Review


The film takes a look at the life of a boy growing into a man and struggling through different phases of his life, having to contend with the rough neighbourhood in Miami.


Chiron is the person we follow through the film which is split into three stories. Showing how different events impacted on how the next stage of his life turned out. As a boy and then teenager we see him bullied and teased by the other kids and he could never really work out why, or even stand up for himself.

His mother Paula is a drug addict and has never had time for him, plenty of shouting and screaming towards him though. I guess that is enough for Naomie Harris to get Oscar nominated, even though one again with the supporting roles having hardly any screen time. I mean come on how many times have we seen this exact performance get nominated. Although I guess Mahershala Ali had even less screen time and somehow got nominated as well! As the drug dealer Juan, who was an interesting character as he actually showed some compassion to the boy but he was quickly gone. His wife Teresa was also a positive character that we did not really get to know well enough.

I guess that leads to me saying that I really do not understand one tiny bit why this film has been nominated for eight Academy Awards. Honestly it makes me doubt why I even bother with awards season and get so consumed and taken in by it all. The film was all over the place and I don’t feel that it was built up in the way that we cared enough for Chiron. The way it jumps to the next stage makes you guess at times which character he is (until a name is used of course).

The film also very lightly touches on his sexual orientation and then totally forgets about it for what feels like forever. It could have really made for much more interesting viewing if it decided which aspect it was going to focus on. We get the abusive mother, bullying, hardly any friends and the possibility that he is gay. My problem was that they never focused on one of the things for long enough and it just jumped about from one to the other.

I have since seen that the performances have been hailed as brilliant and outstanding, which really makes me doubt film. I wasn’t blow away by anyone watching the film and it just felt awful to watch at times, with the camera angles spinning around and out of focus. Attempting to be a lot more artistic than it was ever really going to be. Each year we have an Oscar nominee that we just don’t get the hype around and wonder how on earth it has been nominated. I think I have found my dud for 2017!

The apparent groundbreaking film, that in my opinion isn’t anything new let alone pushing limits. I would really appreciate if you enjoyed or liked the film that you can please tell me what I possibly missed when watching this? I know we all have different opinions but I am quite shocked I have ended up so far away from what a lot of people seem to be calling an outstanding film?

10 thoughts on “Moonlight (2016) Review

  1. I definitely wouldn’t call this one a dud.

    If it isn’t already well established online, this is my favorite films of the year! I think one of the greatest accomplishments of this movie is it’s ability to get made, picked up by a distributor and seen by general audiences. HOWEVER, important subjects don’t always equal great films. I certainly believe that (read: Birth of a Nation), but this one stood out for me. I found the script daring to tell, the usage of three separate actors who all successfully embodied the struggle of their character exceptional and it’s message of culture, hyper-masculinity and homophobia profound. It’s a slice of life that we don’t always see, and many people don’t WANT to see. I’m glad it’s getting praise, because it certainly deserves it.


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