Review: Moonlight

Review by Dash Wilson.


Based on the play ‘Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue’ by Tarell Alvin McCraneym, Moonlight chronicles the life of a young black man from childhood to adulthood as he struggles to find his place in the world while growing up in a rough neighborhood of Miami.

Writer/Director Barry Jenkins (Medicine for Melancholy), a relative unknown in Hollywood has teamed up with Cinematographer James Laxton ASC to create a seductive, deeply mellow and beautifully shot film that is profoundly moving. Laxton has used a highly effective mix of hand-held cameras and close ups to bring a realism that is all too absent in mainstream cinema. With the aid of colourist Alex Bickel, Laxton has lit every scene with conviction and more importantly, with reason.

Whilst incredibly difficult to summarise in 150 words, I was quietly blown away by this film.  Films like this are why I go to the movies – however that does not make it an easy watch. It is often bleak, confronting and the ambiguous ending will frustrate some but it’s a film that gets under your skin and stays there. This is a sublime film and is without a doubt Barry Jenkin’s magnum opus.


Reviewing all five films nominated for the Academy Award for Best Cinematography in 2017, Dash Wilson is a film-lover based in Brisbane and is the resident Film Critic for Australian Cinematographer Magazine.

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