Moonlight ★★★★★

In this, the afterglow of its surprising (I mean, really surprising) Best Picture win, it’s sort of amazing that Oscar voters went for Barry Jenkins’s low-key character study at all; it’s the kind of modest work that’s often too subtle for that voting bloc. But it’s a moving and powerful piece of work, telling stories and sounding notes few films even attempt; witness the sensitivity of the beach encounter, the patience and delicacy of the diner sequence, the way you see Chiron’s hardened mask trembling in the scenes that follow. It’s rare indeed that the year’s actual best picture wins Best Picture, but here we are.

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