Slow paced but nevertheless, remarkable!
O primeiro aspecto que não poderia deixar de comentar são as atuações, e que escolha de casting perfeita, todos os atores entregam performances dignas de Oscar, não a toa que Naomie Harris e Mahershala Ali foram indicados e um deles até levou a estatueta pra casa. Naomie nos entrega um atuação tão real em uma personagem detestável, que percebemos o estudo e a entrega dela à sua atuação, retratando fielmente uma mulher perdida que não sabe como ajudar e reagir as escolhas do filho os mesmo tempo que luta contra seu vicio as drogas. Ali por outro lado, mesmo que na pele de um homem que era pra ser deplorável nos mostra um lado paternal e carinhoso que pode estar presente em qualquer um e somente é necessário uma oportunidade para demonstrar tais sentimentos guardados.
Mas os três atores que foram escolhidos para interpretar Chiron durante os três atos do filme dão um show a parte, criando um senso de coesão entre suas atuações realmente passando a sensação que as consequências das ações e decisões enquanto criança refletem em sua fase adulta, a dor e desamparo no olhar e até mesmo sua postura são diferentes em cada parte do filme e ao mesmo tempo são uma só, completando umas as outras.
Além das atuações impecáveis, o longa ainda conta com uma direção incrível com cenários e cores deslumbrantes, com um ótimo trabalho de iluminação e pós-produção fazendo cada ato do filme ser completamente diferente do anterior com cada vez mais cores saturadas e azuladas e que dizem muito sobre a situação emocional do protagonista e do seu ambiente. A montagem do filme é milimetricamente calculada, com todas as cenas passando alguma mensagem, nada é em vão nesse filme.
O único defeito para mim foi simplesmente o fato de faltar mais, eu queria mais do filme, algumas situações e explicações para alguns acontecimentos teriam me dado uma experiencia mais gratificante mesmo eu entendendo o que o filme queria dizer e onde ele queria chegar. Além de uma ou duas cenas que julguei desnecessárias ou sem algum significado real para a trama.
O filme é brilhante e não deve ser perdido por nada, poucas vezes vi algo tão visceral e belo na tela, Moonlight é um exercício para reflexão e para quebras de expectativas e paradigmas que consideramos como certos.
Moonlight is a beautiful testament to true love that spans decades. Homosexuality is an often ignored, tormented, and repressed demographic within black communities, so Moonlight is a breath of fresh air for an entire group of people. It handles a difficult subject with a subtle grace and care not regularly afforded to LGBT persons. Moonlight proudly and lovingly demonstrates how people may hide or not understand how they feel about sex and that is alright. It is a powerful message that transcends any particular sexuality, so that all audiences everywhere can empathize and relate. Moonlight is glorious.
We see him struggle to accept his sexuality as a homosexual male in the black community over 3 stages of his life. From a shy boy called Little that must survive bullies, poverty, and his negligent crack addicted mother. Chiron grows into an abused teenager seeking some kindness. Finally, Chiron matures into an adult man going by the name Black that has grown hard by his environment, the trap scene, and the prison industrial complex.
The acting within Moonlight is phenomenal! Every performance is captivating. All 3 actors that play Chiron including: Alex R. Hibbert, Ashton Sanders, as well as Trevante Rhodes enthrall you the entire movie's duration. Each actor leaves an impression of deep compassion, profound hurt, and an untouched longing. Whether it is in their respective pained words or unspoken body language, these gentlemen exude their own unique take on playing timid. To portray a single person in withdrawn pain takes acting skill. Hibbert, Sanders, and Rhodes are sublime separately, while simultaneously projecting a reserved radiance. They each relate to the other performances with their eye and body movements in such a subtle way you might miss it. I look forward to seeing Trevante Rhodes in more movies after Moonlight. He has a wide emotional range that impressed me greatly.
The supporting cast is superb all around. Mahershala Ali is the perfect complex father figure. He is a caring drug dealer that is clearly trying to uplift his community while he is also a cause of its suffering. He is so sweet and smart, you will wish Ali was your father by the end. Mahershala Ali as Blue is the greatest on screen portrayal of a black father figure since Laurence Fishburne as Furious Styles in John Singleton's legendary coming of age classic Boyz n the Hood. Ali deserved his Best Support Actor Oscar as he emanates charm, decency, and kindness. Remember the name Mahershala Ali!
André Holland is so expressive as the adult Kevin. You can see how his character feels just by looking into his revealing eyes. I cannot write a review for Moonlight without mentioning Janelle Monáe's performance as the kindly Teresa. She is the sweetest character in Moonlight and absolutely charming. She embodies the spirit of motherhood. Naomie Harris is terrific as Chiron's strung out mother Paula. She is horrifying cruel, yet still empathetic by the end. You feel pity for her. Harris captures the intricate nature of Paula and how nuanced motherhood is in Moonlight.
Director Barry Jenkins is a genius. I must say Moonlight is one of the best filmed movies I have ever seen. The panning shots are so engaging. His choices for the inserts for the passage of time are endearing. Jenkins gets it all right with Moonlight. The cinematography cannot be overstated. It is gorgeous every second. Characters will be in focus in the foreground as the world disappears out of focus in the background. Jenkins has already proven he is a formidable mind behind the camera. His direction is innovative on a technical level, but also so appealing in a visual sense. Barry Jenkins is a director to watch for in the foreseeable future.
I must mention that Moonlight has the most lovely lighting from any film I can mention. It's bright and clear throughout. You will be taken aback by the color scheme as well. Red for instigators, blue for kindness, white for safety, and black for a harsh reality. It's a genius use of color as every single scene utilizes Barry Jenkins' thoughtful color palette.
Musically, Moonlight shines with a wholly unique blend of classical cues and hip hop selections carefully chosen to best represent each scene sonically. Barry Jenkins knows how to pick them as Moonlight boasts killer rap classics from Goodie Mob to Kendrick Lamar remixes. The quieter moments are gently cradled by lush string arrangements and nestled right into your heart with a delicate elegance. It is worth listening to Moonlight's soundtrack and score on their own. You have never heard a combination of classic and contemporary harmonized for optimal atmosphere.
Moonlight can claim its place in the hallowed halls of the fine film legacy of LGBT pictures like Blue Is the Warmest Color, Call Me by Your Name, Carol, A Single Man, and more recently, Love, Simon or Disobedience. Moonlight will only age well as its maturity, nuance, grace, humanity, and empathy are only paralleled by its technical prowess. Barry Jenkins deserved all the praise and accolades he has received for Moonlight. Moonlight earned that Best Picture Oscar.
Do yourself a favor: watch and be moved by Moonlight.
Hum... it's always ungrateful for someone to write about something they don't quite understand. This week I've watched Renoir, Goddard and now Jenkins and I left each movie knowing less about film as I did walking in (though I despise Goddard). In all truth, a good movie should challenge what you believe and question your perception. So it's always emotionally tasking to rate a film that rings so personal to you, as when you critique it, you can't help to pick it apart. Moonlight is a coming of age story shot perfectly, this is where you see a director's vision coming through. As we follow Chiron as he goes from little to grown up we understand gradually more about his mind and personality. We see, before our eyes, the character evolving and changing in ways that Boyhood never quite acomplishes, for example. Chiron is played beautiful by the three actors who have equal meritt in portraying him in a way we don't stop feeling his essence. Future Oscar winner Mahershela Ali is a knock out alongside Janelle Monae but enough praise can't be given to Naomie Harris who, after the crapfest Collateral Beauty, gives a complex and enthralling portrayal of a drug adict. The soundtrack is one of the most perfect (if not the most) of the year, it grips you, haunts you and it complements the movie with grace. The cinematography is a perfect fit for Jenkin's direction - with expressive use of depth of focus and and the shifting of focal points beyond what's obvious. Also, the use of color cannot be understated, with one of the best deliveries of color mainly through light cinema has ever seen. The only thing I'd rule against is its overuse of flares, which is a matter of personal taste more than anything. Overall, the cinematography is a extremely lenghty home run, Jekins can make wiping jizz in the sand seem beautiful. Structurally is flawless and its editing and script are two feats of filmmaking. I'd argue that it looses steam in the third act and the end could have been worked on, yet I can't say many more cons. In the end, the subject matter hit me hard as I could see myself in many ways in Chiron. Watching him try to come to terms with his homossexuality and being bullied are things that didn't happen to me but could easily have. Most moments in first two acts seem like a succession of blows that brought me to tears and caused me to be on the edge of my seat. I don't remeber a recent time when I rooted so much for a character. It's a heartrenching movie that all should see. It's these kind of films that the Academy should recognize! This film is why I go to the movies!