Movie: Moonlight (2016) #Oscars

My Take:

  • Standing in a circle comparing penis sizes? 
  • I had a hard time with a grown man, on the second time meeting with a kid, taking him to the beach to teach him to swim.  How did that come up?  Why would that be a thing?  By the end of the lesson, I see where trust was learned and earned.  Just such a random way to get from point A to point B.
  • I felt horribly sad for Little, a kid who had every card in the deck stacked against him.
  • “You could be gay you don’t let nobody call you no faggot.”
  • At the end of the chapter with Juan, I felt odd feeling bad for a drug dealer.  He had a kind heart but not kind enough to stop dealing.  Conflicted.
  • “It’s all love and pride in this house.”  I LOVED Teresa.  The world (and the lost children in it) need more Teresa’s.
  • I had the thought through the first two chapters – “How do people become so cruel?  How does that happen?  People are not born cruel.”  When Kevin punches him, my heart hurt for the young man.
  • The first scene of ice water in the sink – the color of the film, the makeup, the color – it was amazing cinematography.  Aside from best picture, this movie should be up for cinematography as well.
  • The chair over the head – DAMN!
  • Hello Stranger by Barbara Lewis
  • I yelled “Fuck you Kevin” more than once during the movie.
  • The song playing in the car on the drive to see Kevin in Chapter 3 is Cucurrucucu Paloma by Alberto Iglesias

The movie had a bit of a slow pace.  I found it beautiful in its sadness.  My heart aches for this young man.  How lonely, how sad he was.  It makes me angry at his Mother, the one person who was supposed to protect him, especially as she knew that he was gay and confused.  The character of Teresa was the epitome of hope, letting Chiron know that he was worthy of love and a sense of security.  I seriously believe the world needs more like Teresa.  In the last chapter, his dark eyes with their long lashes – full of loneliness.  Ugh. I give this movie a A-.

Did you see the movie?  Did you like or hate it?  Let me know in the comments below.


Synopsis: A timeless story of human connection and self-discovery.  Moonlight chronicles the life of a young black man from childhood to adulthood as the struggles to find his place in the world while growing up in a rough neighborhood of Miami.  At once a vital portrait of contemporary African American life and an intensely personal and poetic meditation on identity, family, friendship and love.  Moonlight is a groundbreaking piece of cinema that reverberates with deep compassion and universal truths.



Interesting piece by Andre Holland:


Additional Info On The Movie:

It received a Rotten Tomatoes review of 98% FreshIt received a Rotten Tomato audience rating of 86% liking it.  Average Rating: 4.2/5 with a number of User Ratings: 29,097.

Additional Reviews:

It had an estimated budget of $5M.  It has a 111 minute run time. 

IMDB Trivia:

  • When Juan teaches Little how to swim, Mahershala Ali is really teaching Alex R Hibbert how to swim. When production started, Hibbert did not know how to swim.
  • In an interview, Barry Jenkins said that the three actors who play Chiron never met during production. He wanted each of them to build their own persona of Chiron during their respective segments, with no influence from the other portrayals. The same technique was used with the actors who play Kevin.
  • The film is based on the unproduced play “In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue” by MacArthur Fellow Tarell Alvin McCraney.
  • Like Chiron, director Barry Jenkins also had a mother who suffered from addiction.
  • The second song that plays in the Diner is “Hello Stranger” by Barbara Lewis. Director Barry Jenkins made the decision to actually play the song on the jukebox in the background while they were filming.
  • Filmed over 25 days in October and November 2015 in South Florida.
  • Naomie Harris is the only actor to appear in all three acts of the film.
  • Such were the budgetary constraints on this production, the cast had to share one trailer for costume, hair and makeup and one rest room stall had to be shared by cast and crew.
  • The adult Chiron drives a car with the license plate number “BLACK305.” ‘Black’ is the nickname Kevin gives to Chiron when they are teenagers, and 305 is the area code for Miami.
  • An early meeting with Brad Pitt helped Barry Jenkins get the necessary funds and distribution deal he required.
  • Not a single Caucasian character is shown.
  • The light flashes in the transitions between chapters is actually an out of focus digital timecode from a camera slate. During filming the actors were sprayed with oil so their skin would shine on camera and the crew would hold the running slate against the lens to protect it from the sprays. Barry Jenkins saw the out of focus timecode on his view monitor and decided to add it to the film as the light flashes are literally showing time moving forward.
  • Both Mahershala Ali and Janelle Monáe also appear on Hidden Figures (2016). Both films are released on the same year.
  • The restaurant scene at the end was filmed at Jimmy’s Eastside Diner in Miami.


Hey, these grandma rules, man. You know the deal. Your ass eat, your ass speak.


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