LUMI Film Club: Moonlight
By Conor Murray
17 May 2021
LUMI Programmer Conor Murray reviews Barry Jenkins's Moonlight for LUMI Film Club. Did it live up to the hype?
Moonlight is a film that relies so heavily on its main character yet has no lead actor. Its music even feels like it reverberates through you like a shockwave, even though it’s merely a whisper. But most impressively, Moonlight bathes in its own silence without ever wasting a second of screen time.
Captured in three distinct phases of a young African American man’s life, Barry Jenkins’ Oscar-winning feature follows Floridian Chiron through childhood, teenage years and adulthood as he grapples with his own sexuality and vulnerability. Actors Alex Hibbert, Ashton Sanders and Trevante Rhodes each help to bring to life Chiron’s most deeply emotional and formative moments, intersecting beautifully to craft an earnest and affecting character study.
In its simplest form, Moonlight exists as a beautifully weighted drama; in another sense it’s also the launching pad for one of Hollywood’s best filmmakers, the beginning of a director-composer partnership that is truly mesmerizing (Nicholas Britell can do no wrong) and an industry landmark in diverse storytelling.
The final product is a monumental feat of boundary-breaking cinema that explores black masculinity, queer sexual identity and a refreshing perspective in which they coexist. Far too often the term “masterpiece” is thrown around, but Moonlight is deserving of this title and more.
⭐️️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ - LUMI Film Club
Written by Conor Murray, LUMI Programmer