(To Be) Young, Omitted & Black

Moonlight
This Boy’s Life In Three Acts
Official Site | Trailer & Mo
R | 110 min

moonlight-poster-2

moonlight

I usually don’t start these reviews by displaying the movie’s poster, let alone TWO posters, but not one picture can fully capture what’s going on in Barry JenkinsMoonlight – a tale of a(n African-American) boy becoming a (gay) man, told in three acts, like these posters can!

Act I was fantastic.  The boy – known as ‘Little’ (Alex R Hibbert) – is too shy to even speak – speak about not fitting in with the other boys, or what’s going on/wrong with his strung-out mom (Naomie Harris – trolling hardcore for Oscar bait, but I didn’t take the bait).  He finds solace in the hands and home of a drug dealer with a heart of gold (an incredible Mahershala Ali) and his beautiful lady friend (the beautiful singer Janelle Monáe, making her screen debut)

Life moves on… to Act II, which perhaps is even more fantastic than Act I was, where ‘Little’ now goes by ‘Chiron’, his birth name.  This high school version of the boy is still a fragile egg, but at least he has a better understanding of how the world works… apparently working against him.  His mom’s even more of a mess than before, and he still can’t fit in with the boys, cause he likes boys, but not ready to let that part of him out.  This version is played by Ashton Sanders, who holds the weight of his character’s sh!tty world mightily on his shoulders.  Sanders reminds me a lot of another up-and-comer – Keith Stanfield.  I’d love to see the two in a movie together (but not a buddy-cop one)

The third Act, where our boy is now a man, and goes by the name ‘Black’ (the 50 Cent-looking Trevante Rhodes), is important to the character’s arc, but not nearly as interesting or impactful as the previous two acts.  He finally comes to terms with who he truly is, and reunites with a former classmate, who we’ve also seen grow alongside him in each act (this final iteration played by the forver smiling André Holland).  It’s nice to see the two find peace with themselves and one another, but this final act is basically watching one long slow-a$$ scene of two dudes having dinner in a diner

Moonlight certainly shines, but could have been a bit more brighter, and a bit more fuller than the waxing gibbous that it ultimate is

Worth checking out – Jenkins’ previous feature/his debut – Medicine for Melancholy

Verdictgo: Jeepers Worth A Peepers

Moonlight rises, currently in limited release

and until next thyme the balcony is clothed…

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