Moonlight (2016): Academy Award Winner for Best Picture 

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A poster for the film featuring the three lead actors playing Chiron.

“Moonlight” is both a disarmingly, at times almost unbearably personal film and an urgent social document, a hard look at American reality and a poem written in light, music and vivid human faces. A.O. Scott (The New York Times)

The fragility and preciousness of the spirit, the odds that are stacked against sensitivity, the distortions that can be inflicted on the soul — these are familiar subjects and sources of passion in literature and film. In “Moonlight”… they find fresh and renewed expression. -Mike LaSalle (The San Francisco Chronicle)

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Director Barry Jenkins said that Harris’ portrayal was inspired by both his mother and that of the screenwriter (Tarrel Alvin McCraney).

At some point, you gotta decide for yourself who you’re going to be. Can’t let nobody make that decision for you. -Juan tells 9 y.o. Chiron (AKA Little)

This gem of a film was shot (on location, mainly in Liberty City section of Miami) over a mere 25 days- WOW! British actress Naomi Harris (Paula) had a quite busy schedule, so her parts were filmed over 15 days. I FINALLY saw this movie last week; it stayed on my mind for the next couple of days. The acting is VERY good, BUT much is also done w/ silence, cinematography, and music. 

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Father figure Juan (Mahershala Ali) teaches Little (Alex Hibbert) to swim in the ocean.

If you watch this actor closely, not only is he in the moment, but his body seems to be in constant motion even when he is sitting still. Like a hummingbird. -Excerpt from IMDB review of Mahershala Ali

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Little (Alex Hibbert) forms a friendship with Kevin.

You feel as if you are watching a real boy cope with life.There are parts where the film asks you what would you do IF you were Chiron? The camera is placed so that it puts you (the viewer) in the place of Chiron. 

Stop putting yo’ head down in my house! You know my rule. It’s all love and all pride in this house! Do you feel me? -Teresa declares to teenaged Chiron

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I was MOST impressed by teenage Chiron (Ashton Sanders- now age 21).

The main conflict is Chiron’s inability to define himself. We realize that he doesn’t fit into any of the categories available to him, so he forces himself into the tough guy persona of Black (last third of the film). 

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Black (Trevante Rhodes) reunites with a grown-up Kevin (Andre Holland) in Miami.
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Black (Trevante Rhodes) gives Kevin (Andre Holland) a ride home.

I was VERY pleasantly surprised to see Andre Holland (who I just fell in love w/ in The Knick)! He has a LOT of charm and ease as Kevin, a man who turned his life around after a rough life as a teen/young man. He is surprised to see how Chiron (AKA Black) has turned out, yet also concerned. Heck, I want Kevin to cook ME dinner… LOL!  I’d never seen Trevante Rhodes before, BUT now I’m hoping that he gets some more meaty roles in which he can showcase his talent. Check out this film for yourself (if you haven’t yet)! 

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