The coming-of-age movie Moonlight follows a boy from Miami through three stages of his early life.
Firstly, Little (Alex R. Hibbert) is introduced as a nine year old with a neglectful mum (Naomie Harris), who finds a father figure in drug dealer Juan (Mahershala Ali). The film then follows his self-discovery as teenager Chiron (Ashton Sanders), and lastly, young adult Black (Trevante Rhodes).
Jenkins does a beautiful job of shooting the film. Using vibrant lighting, juxtaposing with harsh, unglamorous neighbourhoods perfectly captures the Miami heat and how beauty can be found anywhere if you look hard enough. It’s also extremely visceral as Jenkins places us right alongside Chiron with handheld cameras taking us as close to the experience as cinematically possible.
There are some gorgeous early scenes where the focus is crystal clear but the background is hazy, like an old memory, particularly on Juan, giving an air of idyllic nostalgia towards Ali’s character.
At its heart, this is a film about sexuality and becoming who you really are. It’s evocative, moving, funny and profound. Ticking along at its own speed, it’s as riveting as any other film you’ll see.
An honest, grounded story about finding oneself, it is a truly stunning film. This is quite simply as pure as cinema gets.