For those who haven’t had the opportunity to see “Moonlight” as yet, there’s even more reason to go check it out. The film was just nominated for six Golden Globe categories, and will most likely take away at least half of these, if not more.

The story charts the life of a black youth named Chiron as he struggles to find his place in the world while growing up in a rough neighborhood of Miami. We begin with young Chiron as he is taunted at school by his classmates, and even his drug-addicted mother thinks he’s “different” from the other boys.

On one of his random runaways from home, he’s found by a local drug dealer (Juan), who brings him home to meet his girlfriend (Teresa), have a good meal, and made to feel welcome and comfortable. The lavish home they live in is as far a distance as possible from the squalid conditions he and his mother live in.

The movie is broken into three specific sections, Chiron as a child, a young teenager, and as an adult.  It’s at the end of the  scene in the movie that he asks the most powerful questions. “What does faggot mean”? Juan replies, “It’s a name people use to make gay people feel bad”. Chiron then asks if Juan sells drugs to his mother. Juan goes silent and scene one ends as Chiron walks out.

Scene two has Chiron in high school, still being bullied. It should be noted that this is an all-black school, similar to his all-black neighbourhood. This is the whole purpose of the movie, not to be stereotypical, but to bring light to the struggles of African-American youth, and especially to those struggling to fit in with an often harsh environment. Chiron continues to be picked on, until one day he can’t take it anymore, fights back, and ends up behind bars. Before this happens though, he has a one-off intimate moment with a male schoolmate (Kevin) at the beach one night.

Scene three shows Chiron as a fully grown adult, that moved to Atlanta to escape his past in Miami. He’s taken on the life of dealing drugs, a mirror image of Juan, right down to the car he drives. Years later, after not having any connection with his past, he gets a call from Kevin who heard a song that reminded him of Chiron, so he decided to call. Kevin hangs up after telling Chiron that he works at Jimmy’s restaurant in Miami, and that Chiron should come up for a visit.

Chiron decides he will and makes the trek up. The two reconnect at the restaurant and then head back to Kevin’s to continue gabbing. Kevin mentions he now has a child, but is no longer with his girlfriend, as it just wasn’t meant to be. After long periods of awkward moments, with each knowing what they want to say, but not how to say it, Chiron asks Kevin why he called. They eventually get around to talking about “that night” at the beach, and Chiron confesses that Kevin was the only man who ever touched him.

It’s not clear whether Chiron had dated any females in is life, so it’s left in the air as to where he stands with his sexuality. This most likely is where the Q (questioning) comes into play in the extended LGBT acronym. Although the movie is being billed as a “gay black” movie, I think it’s unfair to label it as such. It would be best described as a “coming of age” movie, taking away the race and sexuality.

It’s a powerful movie that brings to life the struggles people still face in coming to grips with their inner feelings, and the often difficult times youth experience growing up at home. A must see!

Written and directed by Barry Jenkins, with a story by Tarell Alvin McCraney, and stars Trevante Rhodes, André Holland, Janelle Monáe, Ashton Sanders, Jharrel Jerome, Naomie Harris and Mahershala Ali.

MOONLIGHT has received six Golden Globe nominations,
Best Motion Picture – Drama
Moonlight

Best Director – Motion Picture
 Barry Jenkins – Moonlight

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
Mahershala Ali – Moonlight

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in any Motion Picture
Naomie Harris – Moonlight

Best Original Score – Motion Picture
Moonlight

Best Original Screenplay
Moonlight

Winners will be announced at the awards show on January 8, 2017 held at the Beverly Hilton and will be broadcast live on NBC at 5pm PT/8pm ET.

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About the Author

Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats.