Benz Eye View: Moonlight

moonlight_2016_film
Moonlight

Pros: 

1.) The actors are great playing calm and collective characters (with one notable exception).  Even the child actors play their roles well (despite the child actor playing Chiron has to be mopey all the time).  Even though it is calm acting, it is acting that is worth recognition.

2.) There are some great camera shots used in the movie.  Many first person shots, medium shots, tilts, pans, etc. show great cinematography…

3.) …This reflects with the director’s choices, and creates some interesting symbolism and visuals.  The ocean is what stands out as baptism symbolism (although I interpret that as something else, but that I will keep to myself), sound is absent in certain moments that reflects Chiron’s emotions, and so on.

 

Cons: 

1.) The movie is about a black gay child that we see from childhood to adulthood.  This reminds me way too much of Boyhood, and I thought that movie is overrated.  As a result, I found the story to be uninteresting.  There are some good and relaxing moments, but it does not really mean much if the story is not compelling, especially if it reminds me of movies that I have seen before, and probably did it better.  The only somewhat exception is the subplot with Chiron’s mom, but that does not get interesting until the last act.

2.) I can empathize with Chiron, but he is not interesting.  His conflict is that his life kind of sucks and depressing because of his mom.  Boo-hoo.  Get in line.  The only thing that the filmmakers did to make him stand out is that he is gay (which I will get to in a moment).  It is not enough since all Chiron does is mope on how life sucks especially with his emotionally abusive mom.  I get it, but that is not a compelling character when he does very little and barely stands out.

3.) Speaking about Chiron being gay, I think that is completely unnecessary.  Hear me out.  The fact they made Chiron gay does not really add anything.  There are a few moments that bullies make fun of him because he is gay, but I get the feeling it is also because he is secluded.  The filmmakers could have made him straight, and it would not really change much.

 

Overall: 

Catching up with Oscar-nominated pictures, we continue with the winner of 2016’s Best Picture: Moonlight.  So, does this movie deserve the Best Picture Award instead of La La Land, or does the Academy really need to learn to watch the films that are given to them?  Honestly, no.  It does not deserve the Best Picture Award.  Some of the reasons are due to my own personal tastes, and others are explained in the cons.  Personally, from the nominated films that I have seen so far, I prefer Hacksaw Ridge to win Best Picture.  As for Moonlight, it has some qualities that would be good for film class, but it is not really a fantastic movie.  If you want to watch it, go ahead, but I do not really recommend it for the casual viewers.

7/10

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