Taglines: This is the story of a lifetime.
Three time periods – young adolescence, mid-teen and young adult – in the life of African-American, gay Chiron is presented. When a child, Chiron lives with his single, crack addict mother Paula in a crime ridden neighborhood in Miami. Chiron is a shy, withdrawn child largely due to his small size and being neglected by his mother, who is more concerned about getting her fixes and satisfying her carnal needs than taking care of him.
Because of these issues, Chiron is bullied, the slurs hurled at him which he doesn’t understand beyond knowing that they are meant to be hurtful. Besides his same aged Cuban-American friend Kevin, Chiron is given what little guidance he has in life from a neighborhood drug dealer named Juan, who can see that he is neglected, and Juan’s caring girlfriend Teresa, whose home acts as a sanctuary away from the bullies and away from Paula’s abuse.
Moonlight is a 2016 American coming of age drama film directed by Barry Jenkins. It is written by Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney and is adapted from McCraney’s unpublished semi-autobiographical play In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue. It stars Trevante Rhodes, André Holland, Janelle Monáe, Ashton Sanders, Naomie Harris and Mahershala Ali.
The film presents three stages in the life of the main character. It explores the difficulties he faces with his own sexuality and identity, including the physical and emotional abuse he receives as a result of it. Filmed in Miami, Florida, beginning in 2015, Moonlight premiered at the Telluride Film Festival on September 2, 2016. Distributed by A24, the film was released in the United States on October 21, 2016, and has grossed $43 million worldwide.
Moonlight received critical acclaim upon its release and was regarded as one of the best films of 2016. At the 74th Golden Globe Awards it won Best Motion Picture – Drama and was nominated in five other categories. The film received eight Oscar nominations at the 89th Academy Awards, winning Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor for Mahershala Ali and Best Adapted Screenplay for Jenkins and McCraney.
Moonlight became the first film with an all-black cast, the first LGBT film and the second lowest-grossing film domestically (behind The Hurt Locker) to win the Best Picture award. The film’s editor, Joi McMillon, became the first black woman to be nominated for an editing Oscar (alongside co-editor Nat Sanders), and Ali became the first Muslim to win an acting Oscar.
Directed by: Barry Jenkins
Starring: Mahershala Ali, Shariff Earp, Duan Sanderson, Alex R. Hibbert, Janelle Monáe, Naomie Harris, Jaden Piner, Herman ‘Caheei McGloun, Kamal Ani-Bellow
Screenplay by: Barry Jenkins
Production Design by: Hannah Beachler
Cinematography by: James Laxton
Film Editing by: Joi McMillon, Nat Sanders
Costume Design by: Caroline Eselin
Set Decoration by: Regina McLarney
Art Direction by: Mabel Barba
Music by: Nicholas Britell
MPAA Rating: R for some sexuality, drug use, brief violence, and language throughout.
Distributed by: A24
Release Date: October 21, 2016