I went into Moonlight knowing nothing about the plot. All I knew was that there was a character somewhere in the film at some point named Chiron and only because the Twitter-verse told me so. I had high expectations, though, of course, because it was this year’s Best Picture!
Moonlight was different… but different in all the right ways. It was intimate and revealing. It was beautiful, but at the same time, so incredibly, appallingly ugly. The acting was amazing. I’m not at all surprised that Mahershala Ali won Best Supporting Actor, because I was awestruck by his performance. But really, everyone was great. There isn’t a single performance in Moonlight that I can honestly say didn’t blow me away.
It’s definitely not a film I’d suggest for say, a group of friends to watch together, or for a date, because it’s slow. It crawls along, but I feel like that gave it more of an edge and made it feel that much more real. I also feel like not everyone is going to like it. As much as it is a film that speaks to the issue of race, it’s a film that speaks about masculinity and what is “expected” of a man, black or otherwise, in society.
What Moonlight does best is introduce us to the character of Chiron. When you finish the movie, you feel like you knew Chiron because it does such a great job of really showing you who Chiron is as a person and how he came to be that way.
In sum, it was something I was not expecting at all because I read nothing about the plot or the characters or any reviews before starting it. I watched it because of the people pulling for it on Twitter to win Best Picture – because of the people who were so crestfallen when La La Land “won” the Oscar – and I regret nothing.