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Moonlight (2016)

R | | Drama | 18 November 2016 (USA)
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A chronicle of the childhood, adolescence and burgeoning adulthood of a young, African-American, gay man growing up in a rough neighborhood of Miami.

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(screenplay by), (story by)
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559 ( 86)
Won 3 Oscars. Another 221 wins & 272 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Juan
Shariff Earp ... Terrence
... Azu (as Duan 'Sandy' Sanderson)
... Little (as Alex Hibbert)
... Teresa
... Paula
... Kevin age 9
Herman 'Caheei McGloun ... Longshoreman (as Herman 'Caheej' McGloun)
Kamal Ani-Bellow ... Portable Boy 1
Keomi Givens ... Portable Boy 2
Eddie Blanchard ... Portable Boy 3
Rudi Goblen ... Gee (as Rudi Goblin)
... Chiron
... Mr. Pierce
... 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 Chiron is a shy, withdrawn child largely due to his small size and being neglected by his mother, who is more concerned about getting her fixes and satisfying her carnal needs than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:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site |  »

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Language:

Release Date:

18 November 2016 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Luz de luna  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$402,075, 23 October 2016, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$27,850,912, 28 April 2017

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$55,561,162, 20 March 2017
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

, ,  »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Producer Dede Gardner is the first woman to win the Academy Award for 'Best Picture' twice. Her first award was for 12 Years a Slave (2013). See more »

Goofs

When Chiron dreams about Kevin after their phone call, they have not seen each other since high school and yet Kevin is portrayed as an adult. Chiron would not know what adult Kevin looks like. See more »

Quotes

Black: Why'd you call me?
Kevin: What?
Black: Why did you call me?
Kevin: I told you, this dude came in, he played this song.
See more »

Crazy Credits

There are no opening credits. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Oscars (2018) See more »

Soundtracks

Tyrone
Written by Erykah Badu (as Erica Wright) & Norman Hurt
Performed by Erykah Badu
Courtesy of Motown Records under license from
Universal Music Enterprises
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
In reality, "Little" happens (pun intended) but 'Moonlight' shines as a wonderful exposition of the complexity of emotions.
28 February 2017 | by See all my reviews

It is difficult to effectively display certain inner conflicts one may experience during the coming of age, but 'Moonlight' stunningly portrays three chapters in the life of a young, black boy and his struggle whilst growing up gay. Starting off with Little (Alex Hibbert); a boy who is taken under the wing of local drug dealer Juan (Mahershala Ali), followed by him as a teen, referred to as Chiron (Ashton Sanders), slowly uncovering and accepting his sexuality, then finally as a man (Trevante Rhodes), living his life begrudgingly with the burden of his troubled past. All this is then juxtaposed by a very difficult relationship with his mother, Paula, (Naomie Harris), falling in love with his best friend, and getting bullied consistently throughout school. The consequences of each prospect are dealt with astonishingly, somehow illustrating issues that have deep and dark implications with serenity and consideration. It simply is wonderful to watch.

Some have referred to this feature as "mundane". However, director Barry Jenkins displays the toughness of this boy's life with appropriate genuineness. Amongst it all, Jenkins' unquestionable artistic talent demonstrates a troubled soul who cannot grasp exactly what it is that makes him different with seamless realism. He does this through the subtle ocean imagery every time Chiron encounters something challenging, which ties the narrative together ingeniously. This, combined with an excellent screenplay by Jenkins, inspired by Tarell Alvin McCraney's play, 'In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue', results in a naturally flowing story that makes 'Moonlight' immensely powerful.

All three actors portray the main character with equal conviction, immersion and entrancing absorption; it certainly feels like an overarching story following one character, a hard task to truly pull off unless, like Richard Linklater's 'Boyhood', you use the same actor over an extended period. Ali's supporting role as the complicated, good-willed drug dealer, Juan, is indeed praiseworthy but it is Harris' performance that is most awe-inspiring. Certainly Oscar worthy, her marvellous display as Chiron's damaged, drug addicted mother is one that particularly stands out, despite the movie in itself being an incredible cinematic experience altogether. The extra layer of Juan being Paula's supplier adds further gravity to the situation, which is, to put it frankly, just one of many factors in the movie that pull delicately at your heartstrings. Jenkins successfully sustains the emotional attachment throughout, and has created an absolute serene picture; it is difficult to resist a rewatch.

Intricately and carefully crafted, 'Moonlight' truly does shine as a masterwork, conveying emotions in their utmost complexity as part of a story where, in reality, 'little' happens (pun intended). Barry Jenkins comes to the forefront as an emerging talent in directing, with the standard set so high, it is now intriguing to anticipate just what his next project, 'A Contract with God' (a three-part directed feature), will be like.


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