Thursday, January 12, 2017

Moonlight wins Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture - Drama but I disagree

Movie Title:   MOONLIGHT

Grade:  B

Rating:   R, 110 minutes

In a Nutshell: This intimate coming-of-age film slipped right past most movie-goers, since it didn’t play in a lot of theaters and hardly anyone saw a trailer for it; however, the Golden Globe film committee most definitely noticed it, already naming it “Best Picture - Drama” at the recent awards night. 

Do I think it’s the best picture of 2016?  No, definitely not.  There were quite a few I would put ahead of this one.

Is it a well-done movie?  Yes.  Critics are falling all over themselves about this film, but it’s not for everyone’s taste, nor for fun family viewing. 

Labeled by the studio as “the story of a lifetime,” it’s an Indie film about someone who is often overlooked in society: young, poor, black, and gay.

Uplifting theme: 
  • “At some point you gotta decide who for yourself who you gonna be.  Can’t let nobody make that decision for you.” – Juan (Mahershala Ali)
  • The influence others have on us and we have on others is incalculable.
  • "Who is you?" - Kevin
  • We all just want to be loved.

Things I liked:
  • Mahershala Ali is excellent as Juan, the drug dealer who shows kindness to Little.
  • Fans who fell in love with Janelle Monae in Hidden Figures ( I loved that movie!) will be pleased to see her again in this film.
  • Fans of Naomie Harris in Collateral Beauty will enjoy seeing her too, although her character is extremely different than the one she plays next to Will Smith.  She gives an especially impressive performance in this one.
  • This is not a film filled with CGI or big explosions, but powerful dialogue.  Even more powerful is what is not said.
  • I thought it was interesting that Juan taught Little to never sit with his back against the door.  Tough neighborhood.  Good advice.
  • The 3 acts that show us different stages of Chiron’s life blend together seamlessly to paint a portrait of a single identity being created.
  • The all black cast gives powerful performances.  
  • Alex Hibbert didn’t have to memorize a lot of lines, since he mostly eats and broods as Little.  But those eyes!  All three actors who play Chiron have incredibly expressive eyes: Alex Hibbert, Ashton Sanders, Trevante Rhodes.
  • The movie poster is really great.

Things I didn’t like:
  •  The music choices were sometimes quite odd.
  • People mumble a lot, so it's often hard to understand what characters say.
  • You will see a lot of sad, ugly moments.

Interesting lines:
  • “You always let them pick on you.” – Kevin (Jaden Piner)
“So, what I gotta do?” – Little
“All you gotta do…show these “Ni***ers you ain’t soft.” - Kevin
“I’m not soft.” - Little
  • “I know, I know, but it don’t mean nothing if they don’t know it.” – Kevin
  • “You know my rule: it’s all love and pride in my house.” – Teresa
  • “S***, I cry so much sometimes I feel like I’m going to turn into liquid.” – Chiron
“And just roll out into the water, right?” – Kevin  (Jharrel Jerome)

Funny lines:
  • None.  This was a sad, heart-breaking film.

Tips for parents: 
  • Lots of F-bombs and other profanity, including racist and sexist words.
  • This is not a “feel” good family movie.  It earned its solid R rating because it features a very harsh family life, drugs, crime, poverty, homosexuality, bullying, profanity and sex.
  • There are a couple of awkward, raw sex scenes.

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