Review: Moonlight (2016)

New York is my home at heart. After living there for two years pursuing acting and film, it’s a pleasure and heartbreaking at the same time to come back. When I do come back there are two things that are on top of my to-do list. First: See friends and friends who have become family. Second: Watch all the movies that haven’t come out in Austria yet or will come out after award season has ended (come on Austria and Germany, why are you doing that!?) Since nearly none of the films nominated for Golden Globes, and therefore have a good shot at being nominated at the Oscars, have come out yet, my list this time is very, very long.

The release date March 9th for a highly praised movie like „Moonlight“ simply didn’t cut it for me. So, I took my chance and saw it yesterday. „Moonlight“ is one of those films why I enjoy going to the movies, the reason why I prefer the images of a movie to the pages of a book…and I say that even though I love writing.

„Moonlight“ tells the story of Chiron, a African-American boy from Miami, who doesn’t have it easy. A crack head mother (played by the amazing, beautiful and wonderfully talented Naomi Harris), bullied at school he feels alone and isolated. And that’s not even mentioning his trouble with himself and his sexuality. Structured in three parts we watch Chiron at three formative stages of his life, trying to figure life and himself out.

Wonderfully portrayed by Alex Hibbert (Little), Ashton Sanders (Chiron) and Trevante Rhodes (Black), Chiron is an interesting and very pained character. Written and directed by Barry Jenkins Chiron’s struggles are shown in the most beautiful way possible. Sound and image are perfect for the visible and invisible pain Chiron has to endure and as an audience you can feel each and every emotion, which often isn’t the most comfortable, but exactly the reason why good films are so powerful.

It’s a film about a boy becoming a man, a struggle induced by outer influences, the fact that we become, what we are surrounded by, what affects us. It’s about heartbreak, the search for love, pain and bottling it up. It’s about bullies, loneliness and the fact that everything we do is for love.

With a rightfully deserved 98% on Rotten Tomatoes, „Moonlight“ is more than the „up and coming indie movie of the year“. Award nominations are lined up and you can only hope that this story, this beautiful and amazing, mesmerizing film gets all the prizes it deserves. It’s an important piece of cinema. It’s rare and raw and real, a little insight into life, while all these superhero action movies are just here for the big bucks.

„Moonlight“ is an absolute must-see!

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