Adrian’s review published on Letterboxd:
'At some point, you gotta decide for yourself who you're going to be. Can't let nobody make that decision for you.'
I don't say this lightly, but Moonlight is one of the greatest movies ever made. This movie shows me why I love cinema that much, because in the last 111 minutes, I was connected with someone, who I apparently have nothing in common with. Chiron is black, and I am white. Chiron is American, and I am German. Chiron is gay, and I am straight. But, there is one thing we have in common. We are both human, and that's what I take from this movie. No matter what skin colour we have, no matter where we are coming from, and no matter what sexuality we have, we are all equal.
That's why I suffered with Chiron. I was able to relate to him, and I felt his pain when his classmates called him a faggot and when his drug-addicted mum didn't care about him. To me, this is still one of the most important things a movie has to do, especially when we have a coming-of-age drama like Moonlight. The story of Chiron is even more impressive, when I think about the fact that it also offers some autobiographical aspects of director Barry Jenkins' life.
Barry Jenkins is not only a brilliant director, he is an even more impressive person. During the last few months, I have seen so many interviews with this guy, and every word he says is simply inspiring for me. He is such a relaxed guy, and the way he talks about movies is so passionate, and, accordingly, you can see his love for movies within every frame of Moonlight. I love his decision to divide this movie into three chapters, with every single one showing a defining chapter of Chiron's life. From chapter to chapter, it was interesting to see how his personality and self-awareness has changed.
The technical aspects of Moonlight are simply breathtaking and maybe the best I have seen from all the 2016 movies. Caetano Veloso's and Nicholas Britell's score is very chilling and adds a lot to the oppressive atmosphere of this movie. Especially the frequently mentioned swimming scene in the beginning of the movie is a textbook example of the perfect interaction of music, acting and cinematography. Also, the camerawork as a whole was really impressive. Every single one of three chapters was shot in a different color palette, as you can already see on the movie poster, and the look of this movie was simply beautiful.
Coming to the performances, Moonlight offers a very strong cast. Especially Alex Hibbert, Ashton Sanders or Trevante Rhodes, who were playing Little, Chiron and Black, did an amazing job, and I really bought from them that they were playing the same person. Also, Naomie Harris was really outstanding, playing Chiron's mother. She seriously broke my heart with her behaviour, and she really should have won an Oscar for her performance. Still, it's Mahershala Ali who stole the show from everyone. He is absolutely outstanding in here, and he deserves his Oscar so much, not only because of his acting, but also because he seems like a wonderful person.
Moonlight won the Oscar for best picture, and deservedly so, because it's not only the most important movie from 2016, but from the 21st century. The fact that LGBT people and people with a different skin colour are still not treated equally in a so-called enlightened world is simply sad. This movie is a glimmer of hope for every one of those people that there eventually will be a world where everybody is equal. Thank you for this message, Barry Jenkins.