Stunning. Absolutely stunning.
The phrase ‘coming of age’ usually has me running in the opposite direction, but this is simply beyond words.
It doesn’t matter that Chiron is played by three very different looking actors at various stages of his life. By dividing the film into three sections, director Barry Jenkins lets us know that time has passed and we are now with Chiron at a later stage in his life without any fuss.
I heard a recent interview with Barry Jenkins in which he commented that he still finds it difficult to believe that Chiron ended up writing and creating Moonlight – but this is more or less what happened, as Chiron’s story is based on events from writer Tarell Alvin McCraney’s life.
I’m actually so entranced by this film that I can’t find the words to adequately describe how good it is on so many levels.
So I’ll just say that, although each of the three sections featuring Chiron at different points in his life are fabulous, the final third pulls everything together beautifully. For me it is the strongest section, mostly down to the performance of Trevante Rhodes. I can fully appreciate why Mahershala Ali has been nominated for an Oscar, but I feel that Rhodes is equally as good, if not better. He manages to show that he is confident in himself yet unsure of the situation with just a few looks and pauses, and was totally captivating.
It’s accompanied by a beautiful score and gorgeous cinematography, with occasional shades of Wong-Kar Wai in tone, particularly in the final section – a sense of longing, searching and unrequited feelings permeates.
As I said. Stunning.