a MOONLIGHT musing - second thoughts

(Another musing I didn’t write when I first saw it back in November.)

Deep down, I know this is the better film than LA LA LAND, and this should win the Oscar, but LA LA is just the Academy’s type of rousing Best Picture film it loves to award. I can’t relate to MOONLIGHT as much as LA LA, but MOONLIGHT is way too powerful and emotionally resonant that I can’t help but love this movie so much.

MOONLIGHT is extremely hard to watch. It’s slow/deliberately paced and brutal, but beautiful, enlightening and rewarding. It puts a spell on you from the very beginning and never lets go. Little (young Chiron, played by Alex Hibbert) doesn’t feel like he’s acting, especially in the table scene at the end of Chapter 1. That scene is one of my favorite of all time, because of the simple, understated emotionality of it. Chiron enjoys being in Juan and Teresa’s company, but walks out when he realizes Juan is selling drugs to his mother. I won’t ever be able to watch that scene and not cry.

Chiron discovers his true sexuality and feelings in the second act with Kevin, but by the third act, he’s grown into the same image as Juan. But he revisits Kevin, with all the baggage that he’s carried throughout the years and they reconnect.

I don’t necessarily love movies that are exactly like real life, but rather they use film and the unique conventions of film to portray humanity. MOONLIGHT works for me because of its uncompromising need to show you both the darkness and the light, while portraying this character who has struggled so much throughout three different periods of his lifetime.


(Refer to my rating system here!)