A young African-American man grapples with his identity and sexuality while experiencing the everyday struggles of childhood, adolescence, and burgeoning adulthood.

Director:

Barry Jenkins

Writers:

Barry Jenkins (screenplay by), Tarell Alvin McCraney (story by)
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Popularity
606 ( 268)
Won 3 Oscars. Another 219 wins & 292 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mahershala Ali ... Juan
Shariff Earp Shariff Earp ... Terrence
Duan Sanderson ... Azu (as Duan 'Sandy' Sanderson)
Alex R. Hibbert ... Little (as Alex Hibbert)
Janelle Monáe ... Teresa
Naomie Harris ... Paula
Jaden Piner ... Kevin age 9
Herman 'Caheei McGloun ... Longshoreman (as Herman 'Caheej' McGloun)
Kamal Ani-Bellow ... Portable Boy 1
Keomi Givens Keomi Givens ... Portable Boy 2
Eddie Blanchard Eddie Blanchard ... Portable Boy 3
Rudi Goblen Rudi Goblen ... Gee (as Rudi Goblin)
Ashton Sanders ... Chiron
Edson Jean ... Mr. Pierce
Patrick Decile Patrick Decile ... Terrel
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Storyline

Three time periods - young adolescence, mid-teen and young adult - in the life of black-American Chiron is presented. When a child, Chiron lives with his single, crack addict mother Paula in a crime ridden neighborhood in Miami. Chiron is a shy, withdrawn child largely due to his small size and being neglected by his mother, who is more concerned about getting her fixes and satisfying her carnal needs than taking care of him. Because of these issues, Chiron is bullied, the slurs hurled at him which he doesn't understand beyond knowing that they are meant to be hurtful. Besides his same aged Cuban-American friend Kevin, Chiron is given what little guidance he has in life from a neighborhood drug dealer named Juan, who can see that he is neglected, and Juan's caring girlfriend Teresa, whose home acts as a sanctuary away from the bullies and away from Paula's abuse. With this childhood as a foundation, Chiron may have a predetermined path in life, one that will only be magnified in terms... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

This is the story of a lifetime.

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some sexuality, drug use, brief violence, and language throughout | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In order to persuade Naomie Harris to join the project, producer Jeremy Kleiner lied and told her that Barry Jenkins had written the role of Paula with her in mind. She didn't find out the truth until after filming, and in actuality Kleiner had to convince Jenkins that Harris was the right actress for the role. See more »

Goofs

When Chiron and his mother are in their house and she asks him for money, his backpack is placed at his front, strapped over both shoulders. However, in several shots where he is seen from the back, there is no strap over his left shoulder. At one point he switches the backpack from his front to his back, but right after that, when his mother starts struggling with him, the backpack is at his front again. See more »

Quotes

Little: My name is Chiron, people call me little.
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Crazy Credits

There are no opening credits. See more »


Soundtracks

End Credits Suite
(uncredited)
Written by Nicholas Britell
Performed by Nicholas Britell
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User Reviews

 
Identity Takes Time to Discover
2 November 2016 | by bardia-mooseSee all my reviews

To solely categorize this film as an examination of Chiron, a young African American who has to deal with being gay is accurate but inadequate. It wouldn't be inadequate to also categorize it as a movie about drug abuse, school bullying, and isolation. However, if someone were to ask me what MOONLIGHT is truly about I would say that, at it's core, it's a film about teaching a child how to swim, feeling the sand on your skin, and cooking a meal for an old friend. Director Berry Jenkins is not afraid to be poetic, to guide his film away from conventional storytelling and offer his audience something to connect to in their own way. The way his camera roams around is sensually magnificent; he knows when to cut to the next shot and when to linger a few seconds longer. But above all else, his ability to add an extra texture to each scene is awe-inspiring; it's more than just style for the sake of style; it's essential to the movie's argument. From the very first shot to the very last, MOONLIGHT is about as beautiful a movie as you're likely to see this year. The colours are rich and luminous; James Laxton's cinematography is visually immersive leaving you stranded inside the story of the film. It moves at a smooth, welcoming pace. The music, whether it be the classical or hip-hop selections as well as Nicholas Britell's subtle score, is perfect. And the performance are, well… they're the cherry on top. It's uncanny how similar the 3 actors, who played the kid, teenage, and adult versions of Chiron behaved and acted; you'd almost think it was the same actor who played all three roles. Mahershala Ali and Naomie Harris are more deserving of Oscar nominations than just about anyone I've seen this year. They may be the standouts, but all the performances, ranging from the children to the adults, are so raw and powerful; a standing ovation for the casting director is in order. But perhaps the thing about this movie that deserves the most acclaim is its open-endedness; it's fight against straightforward categorization and recap. MOONLIGHT so much more than a movie about growing up gay; it's about overcoming your adversities and, despite being a product of your environment, figuring out who you want to become. Identity takes time to discover, and that's something anyone can relate to.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 November 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Moonlight See more »

Filming Locations:

Miami, Florida, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$402,075, 23 October 2016

Gross USA:

$27,854,932

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$65,336,603
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

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