The cinematography from Barry Jenkins film Moonlight is receiving good reviews for its emotional and dreamlike style. In this video-essay by Alessio Marinacci, he compares the style of Moonlight with the work of Hong Kong director Wong Kar-Wai:
Moonlight won a Golden Globe for best drama. It is a tender, heartbreaking, coming of age story that focuses on a young man’s struggle, told in three parts. The script was adapted from the play In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue by Tarell Alvin McCraney.
In the video essay, shots from Moonlight are projected next to these three Wong Kar-Wai films:
- Days of Being Wild (Wong Kar-wai, 1990)
- In the Mood for Love (Wong Kar-wai, 2000)
- Happy Together (Wong Kar-wai, 1997)
The film’s soundtrack is by Nicholas Britell, and the song in the video-essay is entitled The Middle of the World.
The main character is Chiron, who is played by three different actors to represent each stage of his life. These actors are Alex R Hibbert, Ashton Sanders, and Trevante Rhodes. Naomi Harris plays his mother, who neglects him due to her fight with drug addiction. Mahershala Ali plays the character Juan, an unlikely father figure to Chiron who takes him under his wing and offers him some stability when he notices him being bullied by classmates.
Mahershala Ali won Best Male Actor in a Supporting Role for this character earlier this year at the Screen Actors Guild Awards.
He made a very moving acceptance speech, reminding us of the importance of loving each other, regardless of our differences. He began his speech with:
“What I’ve learned from working on ‘Moonlight’ is: We see what happens when you persecute people — they fold into themselves.”
The full acceptance speech is below: