Magazine article U.S. Catholic

Moonlight

Magazine article U.S. Catholic

Moonlight

Article excerpt

MOONLIGHT

Directed by Barry Jenkins (A24, 2016)

The 89th Academy Awards may forever be clouded by the envelope snafu during which the incorrect "Best Picture" was announced. After some thunder-stealing confusion, the cast and crew of the actual winner--Moonlight--took the stage. Much has been written about "envelope-gate," detracting from the limelight in which the Moonlight cast and crew should have been basking.

We meet Chiron as a child locked in a world where single mothers escape hopelessness with drugs and where schools are war zones where young black males are easily and irrevocably lost. Chiron's saucer eyes betray everything--his vulnerability, his yearning to be loved, an otherness that alienates him from other kids (perhaps Chiron's ambiguity about his own sexuality), and a fierce shell that dares anyone to penetrate it.

But drug dealer Juan--in an understated performance of humility and compassion by Mahershala Ali, who this year became the first Muslim actor to win an Academy Award--is slowly able to break down Chiron's walls. …

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