Sunday, February 19, 2017
What is the movie about? It is summed up in the question posed by Mahershali Ali's character: “Who is you, man?” In particular, it is African American culture and people living in poverty. It is gritty and clear eyed and surprisingly wonderful to watch.
I have long been fascinated with issues of identity as a subject matter for films, but they’ve rarely been explored with the degree of eloquence and heartbreaking beauty as in this masterful film. “Moonlight” is a film that is both lyrical and deeply grounded in its character work, a balancing act that’s breathtaking to behold. It is one of those rare pieces of filmmaking that stays completely focused on its characters while also feeling like it’s dealing with universal themes about identity, sexuality, family, and, most of all, masculinity. And yet it's never preachy or moralizing. It is a movie in which deep, complex themes are reflected through character first and foremost.