Moonlight  ⭐⭐⭐⭐1/2

The lonely and tragi-beautiful world of Little/Chiron/Black, a young black gay man growing up in a depressing Miami suburb is effectively and lyrically evoked not only by the film’s exquisite cinematography and the unique and elegantly melancholic score, but also more importantly by a delicate and wistful script on a subject matter that is rarely explored on screen which allows its audience to piece the story together via a line of dialogue here or a lingering gesture there. All and all, this is a prime example of intelligent film-making by director Barry Jenkins aided by a wonderful and electrifying cast. It isn’t perfect, granted. You could say that the depiction of Mahershala Ali’s drug dealer is too sympathetic and idealistic but it is also arguable that is because we are seeing it through the innocent and idolizing eyes of Little, the youngest version of Chiron here. The 3 newcomers who play him at different ages may feel a little inexperienced or unsure but their almost awkward stillness feeds into the raw and quiet representation of the character’s repressed anger and emotions. And finally, if the film feels a little too neat and tidy, I would argue that this is first and foremost a sensitive portrayal of one man’s journey of self-discovery and acceptance of who he really is. And for that, the film ends at exactly the right point, both emotionally and narratively speaking. I am so moved by this powerful yet tender film that on second thought, I think it is damn near perfect.

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