In reviewing the new movie Moonlight, The Advocate editor Yezmin Villarreal dubs the coming of age flick by director Barry Jenkins “the year’s best film.” Villarreal describes the film thusly:
“Moonlight — in theaters Friday — is a coming-of-age film about a gay black youth, Chiron, growing up in the Liberty City neighborhood of Miami, which was affected by the rise of crack cocaine and the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s. Chiron is not only struggling with the boys at school who incessantly bully him but is also dealing with a drug-addicted mother and coming to terms with his attraction to men.”
The New York Times writes of Moonlight:
To describe “Moonlight,” Barry Jenkins’s second feature, as a movie about growing up poor, black and gay would be accurate enough. It would also not be wrong to call it a movie about drug abuse, mass incarceration and school violence. But those classifications are also inadequate, so much as to be downright misleading. It would be truer to the mood and spirit of this breathtaking film to say that it’s about teaching a child to swim, about cooking a meal for an old friend, about the feeling of sand on skin and the sound of waves on a darkened beach, about first kisses and lingering regrets. Based on the play “In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue” by Tarell Alvin McCraney, “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.
Towleroad’s Nathaniel Rogers is already calling for Oscar nominations:
Critics are saying it’s a rich original film about growing up gay and black. That’s true. The film will provoke many identity politics discussions, but it’s so much more than that. The director Barry Jenkins’ artistry is so strong that the film is universally relatable to the gay experience.
And the LA Times is jubilant:
Moonlight is magic. So intimate you feel like you’re trespassing on its characters’ souls, so transcendent it’s made visual and emotional poetry out of intensely painful experience, it’s a film that manages to be both achingly familiar and unlike anything we’ve seen before.
In other words, go see this movie.