anya’s review published on Letterboxd:
*my vote for best picture*
The last sound heard in Moonlight is the sound of waves. the waves of the same beach where Chiron swam for that first time. it's not only a beautiful mechanism of character progression but it's also not a blatant archetype. it's one of flexibility and shape. like that words that can form people into what they've become, or in this case, stares from people's eyes. Moonlight is like a pair of them.
the eye is used like a motif. long glances are found everywhere. Nearly every character is given one of these. through the gazes they give towards the camera (aimed into the eyes of others) we are able to directly feel the weight of the individual in every moment. it connects with some people and hurts others. not only due to the incredible performances by all the actors is this done so brilliantly, but also the fact that Barry Jenkins directs the hell out of this movie. utilizing the moving image to give the illusion of direct intimacy to the viewer, tenderness through the violin chords, and the lush colors of the setting that fill up the frame. James Laxton uses a low depth of field to seal it with a bow.
Chiron is the one of the most well characterized human beings put to the screen all year. He's a character who is constantly lost- changing and adapting to form an identity, if he will come to comfortably suit one. Chiron's biggest obstacle is understandably the fear of self discovery. He hides himself in sorrow and music, or anything that will give him a reason not to give into what lies in his soul. What came from the bullying, or his mother- the resentment. Growing up with the same theme in three different keys, Chiron is evolving. which is why he never becomes a foil of the past, as the notes never change harmony.
The heart of it all is a story. A life. The idea of urban masculinity as poignant truth, and the art of change