Moonlight (I just don't get it!)

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I really watched this movie with an open mind. And though I'm a straight, married man, the LGBQT motif did not deter me from watching the movie. Though I loved the acting of Chiron's mother, I didn't see much that warranted an Oscar nomination, much less a Best Picture oscar. I didn't think the screenplay was that original and the score was average at best. I'll NEVER understand how this film garnered a Best Picture oscar.



Welcome to the human race...
Leaving aside how often the Academy picks questionable winners and how winning Best Picture isn't automatically an indicator of quality so much as a sign of what the voters may have chosen for whatever reason (to say nothing of how they vote, whether they pick one nominee or rank them all by preference), it's a solid example of a low-key drama that has more focus on atmosphere and performance than originality of plot. There is precedence for Best Picture going to similarly small and grounded films like Marty or Annie Hall, after all.
__________________
I really just want you all angry and confused the whole time.



I really watched this movie with an open mind. And though I'm a straight, married man, the LGBQT motif did not deter me from watching the movie. Though I loved the acting of Chiron's mother, I didn't see much that warranted an Oscar nomination, much less a Best Picture oscar. I didn't think the screenplay was that original and the score was average at best. I'll NEVER understand how this film garnered a Best Picture oscar.
I have not seen the film. But if one might suspect that an all white cast in a similar drama about non homosexuals would not get comparable praise, then it would be reasonable to presume that because it was an all black cast in a homosexual themed drama-- those were the distinctions that had something to do with it's Oscar win.

There was a major disconnect between the Academy and the public, since, according to Wikipedia, it was "...the second-lowest-grossing film domestically (behind The Hurt Locker) to win the Oscar for Best Picture.

So my best guess would be that the film appealed to an esoteric or niche crowd, of which you're not a part.

~Doc



Movie Forums Squirrel Jumper
The Academy Awards usually pics a pretty good movie. Not often the my favorite movie of the year, but they pic a close one I would say. So they have pretty good taste but their taste is biased, as they will often pick historical dramas, true story dramas, or dramas where the main character is going through some sort of sexual or racial oppression it seems.

They don't really go much for other types of stories, accept for once in a while, but these are the main biased tastes they usually pick from. Still good movies usually, just certain favorite types of theirs. Would I be right in that assessment?



Iroquis, I mentioned the same thing regarding Annie Hall. I just didn't think Annie Hall deserved an Oscar. I may be a bit close minded, but my idea of Best Pictures are epic films like Dr. Zhivago, Lawrence of Arabia, Schindlers List, Titanic and Braveheart. Certainly there are some great films that have smaller budgets like The Sting, No Country For Old Men, and The Departed that were Oscar worthy. However, in my opinion Moonlight didn't hold a candle (pun intended) to any of those films.



Weird is relative.
Most of the Academy Award best picture winners don't seem worthy.

When I watched Moonlight in 2016 or 2017 or whenever it was released, I was like... "This is it? Really? This is what all the hype has been about?"

There were some emotional, well-acted scenes, sure, but that's all it was... just a collection of scenes in one man's life, shoved together to make a movie. I mean yeah that's "artsy" and everything, and I've watched stuff that was far more meandering and random than that.

However, I have also watched much better films with LGBT black characters. So everyone who went wild over it... sorry, but maybe they just didn't research other LGBT films that much. They just chose it because it was a "hot topic" that year.



Movie Forums Squirrel Jumper
Why was it a hot topic though, I mean if this was 1993 and this was Philadelphia, then sure, but after that and Brokeback Mountain, isn't the topic really not so hot anymore for the movies and is kind of been there seen that now?



Professional horse shoe straightener
I really watched this movie with an open mind. And though I'm a straight, married man, the LGBQT motif did not deter me from watching the movie. Though I loved the acting of Chiron's mother, I didn't see much that warranted an Oscar nomination, much less a Best Picture oscar. I didn't think the screenplay was that original and the score was average at best. I'll NEVER understand how this film garnered a Best Picture oscar.
My advice is to really not bother yourself with the oscars. Your opinion should be what counts to you. The oscars have just become an excercise in backslapping bribery.



In 2015 we had the hashtag #Oscarssowhite so the following year the push was for diversity it made a good showing in Toronto(where it lost to La La Land). The film was released maintained it's buzz and ended up winning the BP Oscar. Now in hindsight was it the best film of the year...I'd say Gareth Davis Lion or Martin Scorsese's Silence hold up more as classics. But it's a good enough winner If Beale Street Could Talk has demonstrated that Jenkins is a talent.



Weird is relative.
I haven't seen If Beale Street Could Talk yet, I'll get around to that at some point.

It just seemed obvious the year that Moonlight won that it would win because it was about black gay characters. The Academy voters wanted to "prove" that they didn't just like movies about straight white people. So Moonlight became popular and it seemed as though they were just like, "Hell, I guess this is our pick this year."

Kind of like how Green Book won this year.

I will be happy when organizations can start giving awards out to movies that are just GOOD films, where the race, ethnicity, gender and sexuality of the characters and actors doesn't matter.



Movie Forums Squirrel Jumper
Has the Academy every awarded Best picture to a movie that was extremely controversial, and probably very politically incorrect to most audiences? Does Midnight Cowboy count as them being gutsy in picking a non-politically correct movie, or as Midnight Coyboy actually politically correct, and was the Moonlight of it's time?



Weird is relative.
I personally don't know, haven't seen it. I'll have to check it out soon.



Welcome to the human race...
It was the first (maybe only) Best Picture winner to have an X rating (which was usually reserved for porn and similarly extreme movies back in the day) so definitely a controversial choice by 1969 standards - the idea of an NC-17 movie winning today is unfathomable. Questioning whether or not it qualifies as politically correct or incorrect would seem to point out the matter's irrelevance (as would the idea of lumping in Green Book with Moonlight on that same basis).



I loved this movie! The key to appreciating it is to think about subtext. Most of this movie's meaning is never said aloud. Consider what each character is thinking but not saying out loud. Why they do the things they do. How they change and why. What commentary there is about growing up under certain conditions. There's so much to think about for weeks after you see it.



I think Moonlight is one of the best Best Picture winners of this century, personally.


Although, while I think it's great all the way through, I feel like each subsequent third is a slightly less impressive shade of great than the previous one. The first third is a masterpiece in and of itself in my opinion, the second third is ridiculously great, and the final third is great.


In spite if this, however, I'd still rank it really high amongst my favorite films of the 2010's as the parts I love the most about it keep me coming back to it.



I also agree with Speling that the final act is the best part of the film...the final reunion of Chirone and Kevin is just a mesmerizing cinematic dance that keeps the viewer on the edge of their toes until the beautiful final moment. You've heard of second half football teams? I think Barry Jenkins is a second half director...his films take a minute to get going but once they do, they glide to a gorgeous finale.



I also agree with Speling that the final act is the best part of the film...the final reunion of Chirone and Kevin is just a mesmerizing cinematic dance that keeps the viewer on the edge of their toes until the beautiful final moment. You've heard of second half football teams? I think Barry Jenkins is a second half director...his films take a minute to get going but once they do, they glide to a gorgeous finale.
Oh, I meant to say I like the first third the most. It's been a couple years since I've watched it though. I may like it even more if I rewatch it.

I think the final third is also great though and I think you hit the nail on the head as to why it's so great. The way it builds tension is really something. Each minute adds a bit more tension to the sequence to the point I was anticipating their reunion more and more. I got a bit choked up in the final minute. Overall, it's a really beautiful, well-written sequence.

Although, Chiron's time with Juan is what I connected with the most.
WARNING: spoilers below
I feel like Juan was the parental figure Chiron needed, but Paula was the parental figure he ended up with.
His character portrait of a drug dealer capable of so much love and tenderness was the icing on the cake for me.



Maharshala Ali was great as Juan and deserved the Oscar he won, but I just loved the tension bubbling underneath the surface in the final act with grown up Chirone and Kevin.