Views 29 | Time to read: 2 minutes | Uploaded: 3 - 1 - 2017 | By: Jada Fox
Since its release last October, Barry Jenkins’s Moonlight rose to claim one Golden Globe and nominations for eight categories for the 2016 Academy Awards. Adapted from the play In the Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue by Tarell Alvin McCraney, Moonlight divides the life of Chiron (Ashton Sanders) into three chapters: childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. The chronicles of Chiron depict his struggle to establish his identity and role in life as a black, homosexual male while growing up in a rough, drug-ridden community in Miami.
Moonlight addresses current social issues such as black masculinity, homosexuality, drug culture, but ultimately transcends the social discourse. Rather, the film paints an empathetic tapestry of humanity.
At the 2016 Golden Globe Awards, Moonlight was awarded Best Motion Picture in drama alongside Damien Chazelle’s La La Land, which won Best Motion Picture for musical or comedy. Additionally, Moonlight was nominated at the Golden Globes for six total categories. However, La La Land, with its jazz driven score and colorful cinematography, dominated the awards with a total of seven wins. After the musical’s overwhelming victory in the Globes, the question remained if La La Land’s standing in the awards would reflect in the upcoming 2016 Academy Awards. The film did not disappoint and is nominated for fourteen categories.
Moonlight stands in direct contrast to La La Land. Though the drama only received one out of the six nominated awards at the Golden Globes, Moonlight is currently nominated for eight categories for the 2016 Academy Awards. The nominations include Best Motion Picture, Best Original Score, Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay), Best Film Editing, Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Supporting Actress (Naomie Harris), and Best Supporting Actor (Mahershala Ali).
Moonlight challenges La La Land as a dramatic opponent to the lighthearted musical that swept the Globes and Oscar nominations. However, musicals are in the minority of Best Motion Picture Oscar awards. While La La Land defies the expectation of viewers in its conclusion, Moonlight delves beyond the form of social commentary films. Moonlight’s appeal lies in the universalism of its story and characters beyond the disadvantage of Chiron’s environment. As A.O. Scott of the New York Times writes, “A bullied, neglected and all-but-silent child, he grows toward an understanding of himself and his world, and though it is agonizing to witness his progress, it is also thrilling.
To be afforded a window into another consciousness is a gift that only art can give. To know Chiron is a privilege.” Perhaps, the poetic and almost somber narrative of Moonlight will usurp the bright and apparent dominate nominee of La La Land at the 2016 Academy Awards for the category Best Motion Picture or a number or the other nominated categories.