Moonlight ★★★★½

Despite having almost exhausted myself talking about this on Cinema Eclectica, it struck me on second viewing as a film that's almost post-critical; it explores itself, its own themes and ideas, so thoroughly that there's barely anything left to do afterwards. I still think that its power comes from it being the reverse of the normal queer cinema story; rather than watching a man come out we're watching a boy being forced back in, and his final evolutionary stage - perfectly camouflaged, perfectly false - is heartbreaking. I can see the complaint that the final act is a little too slow, but I also think Barry Jenkins correctly observed that Trevante Rhodes and Andre Holland can get so much across wordlessly, and I can't blame him for wanting to indulge in that a bit.

Also, it's got one of the best "saying the film's title in the movie" moments ever. The way Mahershala Ali hits the second syllable of the word "moonlight" - "moonliiiight" - makes the delivery almost as unexpected as its sentiment.

Graham liked these reviews

All