With a score of 99 on Metacritic after 26 reviews so far, with a whopping 20 scores of 100, Barry Jenkins’ Telluride stunner Moonlight is appropriately raved by the most prominent critics. It really is an exceptional film – one of the most beautiful and moving I’ve ever seen. Here is my review.
The Times’ AO Scott writes one of his best reviews on Moonlight, and closes it this way:
And perhaps the most beautiful thing about “Moonlight” is its open-endedness, its resistance to easy summary or categorization. I guess I’m back where I started, trying to decide what this movie is about. As with any original and challenging work, the answer may take a while to emerge, but what strikes me now is less the pain of Chiron’s circumstances than the sense that, in spite of everything, he is free. A bullied, neglected and all-but-silent child, he grows toward an understanding of himself and his world, and though it is agonizing to witness his progress, it is also thrilling. To be afforded a window into another consciousness is a gift that only art can give. To know Chiron is a privilege.
And the LA Times’ Kenneth Turan writes:
But ultimately, grounded in its potent acting and an unwavering creative vision, “Moonlight” is nothing if not its own film. Its story of aching loneliness, sexual longing and the despair of blasted lives, the emphasis it puts on the great difficulty and the equally powerful necessity of intimate human connection, the way it persuasively insists on the shared humanity of marginalized communities, makes it feel like a film we’ve been waiting for for a very long time.
And Slate’s Dana Stevens:
Moonlight’s most noteworthy achievement, in the age of both Black Lives Matter and the backlash against identity politics, is that Jenkins mounts no soapboxes and brandishes no manifestos in his attempt to illuminate the inner life of this troubled boy turned teenager turned man. Instead he shows us the love that other characters feel for Chiron, made tangible by the generous performances of co-stars Harris, Ali, Monáe, and Holland. Chiron’s search for sexual and personal identity matters because he himself does—if not to the often cruel educational, social, and legal systems that surround him, then at least to that small group of people who love him. By the time Moonlight reaches its ravishing conclusion, that group includes us, too.