This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Yung Slavoj’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
I think it's fantastic that the university I'm at finally has an Oscar winner among it's alumni. *raises fist* Represent! It's also nice to see a personal story that takes place in Florida without taking a massive shit on it, even though for many good reasons Florida definitely deserves it. Films are able to feel personal and when they do they should be cherished.
The writing itself is exceptional. Plot wise, I don't think there's ever been a movie about this subject before. Movies have been told in chapters before, even recently, but none quite as well as this. If I were to list the chapters in order from best to worst it would probably be: ii. Chiron, i. Little, then iii. Black. The story is wonderful.
The acting was consistently great. I was especially impressed by the performances of Ashton Sanders and Mahershala Ali. None of the performances were less than amazing or felt inauthentic, which is really something when a good chunk of the actors are younger than 20.
The cinematography had some points that I really liked and some that I did not. I liked how the colors and lighting added to the power behind the images; for example, the pink neon light coming from the room behind Naomi Harris or the blue flickering behind Sanders make the blood on his face stand out even more. Those scenes actually reminds me a lot of The American Friend, which is one of my favorite films. However, shallow depth of field really isn't really my thing (and the depth of field is really shallow). I like being able to see and experience the environment, especially if it's supposed to play a major part of the film's character as Liberty Square is here. Also there are some long scenes that consist of 'talking heads', closeups of the characters heads and cutting from one to another.
My overall view is that this is a good movie with a fantastic story about something which hasn't been shown before. There are surely moments of genius in individual shots, unfortunately the genius doesn't follow through to the rest of the film.
Probably have to watch it twice to get it so I'll probably do that before you flay my skin.