Moonlight is an amazing movie chronicling the life of a young black man who is grown up in one of the rougher areas of Miami- Liberty City. based on Tarel Alvin McCraney, Moonlight focuses on three distinct periods of the young boys life- child, teen, and young adulthood. It's an intriguing movie to watch about a subject that just seems to roll across the floor smoothly as you watch.
Trevante Rhodes (Westworld) plays adult Chiron, a young, black, gay man in Miami. He is simply looking for love. Rhodes portrays this role with sensitivity and realism. His emotions are apparent and natural. Through Rhodes' performance, the audience can connect with Chiron on many levels as a person underneath all the labels of male, black, and gay.
Mahershala Ali (Free State of Jones) plays Juan, the man who first pays attention to Chiron. Ali brings you straight into the movie from his first scene when he saves Chiron from other boys tormenting him. Ali provides the stable father figure in the film that everyone can relate to. He allows Chiron -from the moment he meets him- to find himself, to come to terms with his struggling identity on his own terms knowing that there will be someone there if he falls.
Janelle Monae (Hidden Figures) plays Theresa, Juan's girlfriend. She feeds Chiron in more way than just food. She steps in as a mother figure when Chiron's mother either can't or won't. Monae's performance is outstanding. Through her acting, she portrays a caring, stable, and tender woman, helping a young boy come to terms with who he is without the judgment he clearly gets from his mother.
The movie is presented in 1080p High Definition, 16 x 9 Widescreen with an aspect ratio of 2.39:1. The picture quality is clear and the essence of the Miami neighborhood comes through they way it is in real life. Colors are vibrant and enticing.
Audio is presented in English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio. While this is usually a perfect mix of music and dialogue, I did find myself having to adjust the volume- down when a train passed and up when Chiron was having a confrontation with a bully from school in the middle of the street, and therefore, it was a bit distracting. The background music was subtle and supportive of the storyline and dialogue.
Bonus features are always a reason to explore the Blu-ray and Moonlight does not fail in that respect. Bonus features included are:
- Audio Commentary with Director Barry Jenkins- Always a favorite of mine to find out what the reasons for the direction of the movie are, straight from the Director as the movie progresses.
- Ensemble of Emotion: Making Moonlight- Commentary by the Director and cast about what Moonlight is about and the emotions addressed within the film itself.
- Poetry Through Collaboration: The Music of Moonlight- Explore the music of Moonlight with Composer Nicolas Brittel.
- Cruel Beauty: Filming In Miami- Director Barry Jenkins, along with his crew, discuss keeping the integrity of real Miami during filming.
Moonlight, with 6 Golden Globe Nominations, including one for Best Picture and Best Director, is a must see. The background gained from the insight provided in the Bonus features is unbelievable. The cast could not have been chosen better.