After some confusion at the 89th Academy Awards ceremony, the film Moonlight was eventually named "Best Picture" for 2016. The film received a limited release in the United States starting today, October 21, in 2016.
The drama is a coming-of-age film written and directed by Barry Jenkins. It stars Trevante Rhodes, André Holland, Janelle Monáe, Ashton Sanders, Jharrel Jerome, Naomie Harris, and Mahershala Ali, who also won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. The film received eight Oscar nominations and also won for Best Adapted Screenplay.
The film presents three stages in the life of the main character. It explores the difficulties he faces with his sexuality and identity, including the physical and emotional abuse he endures growing up.
Moonlight became the first film with an all-black cast and the first LGBT film to win the Oscar for Best Picture. Also, Ali became the first Muslim to win an acting Oscar.
In 2017, The New York Times named it the twentieth "Best Film of the 21st Century So Far."
In 2003, Tarell Alvin McCraney wrote the semi-autobiographical play, In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue, to cope with his mother's death from AIDS. The theater piece was shelved for about a decade before it served as the basis for Moonlight.
A major theme of Moonlight is the black male identity and its interactions with sexual identity. The film takes a form similar to a triptych in order to explore the path of a man from a neglected childhood, through an angry adolescence, to self-realization and fulfillment in adulthood. The film's poster reflects its triptych structure, blending the three actors portraying Chiron into a single face.
Click on the image of the film poster to watch the film for free with Amazon Prime.