“Relax. I got you. Ten seconds, right there. You in the middle of the ocean,” Juan calms down our protagonist Chrion who has never been swimming or in the ocean before.
Moonlight is a coming of age story centered on three major acts of Chiron’s life. Set in Liberty City, Florida, Chiron is tasked with keeping himself stable while being surrounded by constant bullies including his mother who is a drug addict. Going through life trying to maintain well balanced with his emotions, he builds himself physically to armor himself. In the last act, we do see his guard crashing down when he is reunited with his someone from his past.
For casting choices, director Barry Jenkins took a leap and casted three different actors for the part of Chiron. The individual actors take a different approach to Chiron and they show his differences and emotional/physical growth in each act. These men are supported by wonderful and award winning performances by Mahershala Ali and Janelle Monae to name a few.
This film is definitely a coming of age film but the artistic and scripted direction takes it to new and cinematic heights. Jenkins had a young black gay lead, something that we have never really seen on the big screen, and none the less the Academy Awards.
Moonlight is one of my favorite films. Jenkins and his director of cinematography James Laxton made a wonderful piece of cinema that changed the way we see underrepresented people and people of color on screen.