They only come out at night
Palace Como - Sunday 22 January 2017, 12:40pm
Running time: 111m
Country: United States
Release date: 26/01/17
Rating: 7.5/10 (ME 4/5, DP 3.5/5)
Moonlight is a film in three acts about poverty, taboo and a deep longing to connect with another. The poignant and touching script punctuates the long moments of silence and the story almost becomes secondary to the way it's told. There are significant gaps between Chiron as a child, a teen and finally as an adult, but there's no need to resolve every plot thread; it's the incompleteness of the film that is one of its appeals. Intimately filmed, these slices of a life, both remarkable and unremarkable, provide just enough of a story to hold it all together without the need for a clean resolution.
The performances are very good despite no single performance carrying the entire film. The journey of Chiron (Alex Hibbert, Ashton Sanders and Trevante Rhodes) and his friend Kevin (Andre Holland, Jharrel Jerome and Jaden Piner) as well as Chiron's troubled relationship with his drug-addicted mother (Naomie Harris) provides the continuity. There's an immediate disconnect when we meet the adult Chiron, but everything soon falls into place. Mahershala Ali's performance as local drug lord Juan leaves an imposing shadow across the film despite his limited time on screen.
Moonlight is a confronting film with moments of tenderness and unsettling violence that defies a need for completeness. At times it's uncomfortable viewing, and there were a few who left before the end of our screening, but there's a gentle beauty in the harsh urban setting that's most rewarding when you uncover it.
89th Academy Awards
2017 BAFTA Awards
23rd Screen Actors Guild Awards
74th Golden Globe Awards
6th AACTA Inernational Awards