Moonlight is a 2016 American coming-of-age drama film written and directed by Barry Jenkins, based on Tarell Alvin McCraney’s unpublished semi-autobiographical play In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue. It stars Trevante Rhodes, André Holland, Janelle Monáe, Ashton Sanders, Jharrel Jerome, Naomie Harris, and Mahershala Ali.
- Starring : Trevante Rhodes / André Holland
- Genre : Drama
- Country : United States
- Language : English
- Director : Barry Jenkins
- Production : A24 / PASTEL / Plan B Entertainment
- Distributor : A24 / Altitude Film Distribution / Altitude Film Entertainment / Cinema Mondo / DCM Film Distribution / Diamond Films / Elevation Pictures / Fabula Films / Lucky Dogs / Lucky Red / Mars Distribution / NOS Audiovisuais / Orange Entertainment / Phantom Film / Roadshow Films / Shaw Organisation / Splendid Film / Thimfilm Filmverleih / Vertigo Média Kft. / BNN-VARA / MG Film / Mongkol Major / Scanbox Entertainment / Solopan / Universum Film (UFA)
Moonlight release date
- September 2, 2016 : USA (Telluride Film Festival)
- September 10, 2016 : Canada (Toronto International Film Festival)
- October 1, 2016 : Canada (Edmonton International Film Festival)
- October 2, 2016 : USA (New York Film Festival)
- October 6, 2016 : UK (London Film Festival)
- October 7, 2016 : Canada (Vancouver International Film Festival)
- October 8, 2016 : USA (Hamptons International Film Festival)
- October 10, 2016 : USA (Mill Valley Film Festival)
- October 21, 2016 : USA (Middleburg Film Festival)
- October 21, 2016 : USA (limited)
- October 24, 2016 : USA (Philadelphia International Film Festival)
- October 26, 2016 : USA (Chicago International Film Festival)
- November 10, 2016 : USA (Hawaii Film Festival)
- November 18, 2016 : USA
- January 20, 2017 : Germany (Berlin) (premiere)
- January 26, 2017 : Australia
- January 26, 2017 : Israel
- February 1, 2017 : France
- February 1, 2017 : Sweden (Göteborg Film Festival)
- February 10, 2017 : Spain
- February 10, 2017 : UK (limited)
- February 10, 2017 : Sweden
- February 17, 2017 : UK
- February 17, 2017 : India
- February 24, 2017 : Ireland
- March 9, 2017 : Germany
- March 15, 2017 : Switzerland (French speaking region)
- March 31, 2017 : Japan
- April 27, 2017 : Singapore
- Mahershala Ali as Juan
- Shariff Earp as Terrence
- Duan Sanderson as Azu(as Duan ‘Sandy’ Sanderson)
- Alex R. Hibbert as Little(as Alex Hibbert)
- Janelle Monáe as Teresa
- Naomie Harris as Paula
- Jaden Piner as Kevin age 9
- Herman ‘Caheei McGloun as Longshoreman(as Herman ‘Caheej’ McGloun)
- Kamal Ani-Bellow as Portable Boy 1
- Keomi Givens as Portable Boy 2
- Eddie Blanchard as Portable Boy 3
- Rudi Goblen as Gee(as Rudi Goblin)
- Ashton Sanders as Chiron
- Edson Jean as Mr. Pierce
- Patrick Decile as Terrel
The Moonlight movie presents three stages in the life of the main character: his youth, adolescence, and early adult life. It explores the difficulties he faces with his sexuality and identity, including the physical and emotional abuse he endures growing up. Filmed in Miami, Florida, beginning in 2015, Moonlight premiered at the Telluride Film Festival on September 2, 2016. Distributed by A24, the film was released in the United States on October 21, 2016, and grossed over $65 million worldwide.
Moonlight received critical acclaim and is commonly cited as one of the best films of the 21st century. The film won several accolades, including the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Drama and the Academy Award for Best Picture, along with Best Supporting Actor for Ali and Best Adapted Screenplay for Jenkins and McCraney from a total of eight nominations. It became the first film with an all-black cast, the first LGBTQ-related film, and the second-lowest-grossing film domestically (behind The Hurt Locker) to win the Oscar for Best Picture. Joi McMillon became the first black woman to be nominated for an editing Oscar, and Ali became the first Muslim to win an acting Oscar.
In Liberty City, Miami, Cuban drug dealer Juan finds Chiron, a withdrawn child who goes by the nickname “Little,” hiding from a group of bullies in a crackhouse. Juan lets Chiron spend the night with him and his girlfriend Teresa before returning Chiron to his mother Paula, who subsequently grounds him from watching TV for worrying her. Chiron continues to spend time with Juan, who teaches him how to swim and advises him to make his own path in life.
One night, Juan encounters Paula smoking crack with one of his customers. Juan berates her for her addiction and neglect of her son but she rebukes him for selling crack to her in the first place; all the while they argue over Chiron’s upbringing. She implies that she knows why Chiron gets tormented by his peers, alluding to “the way he walks,” before going home and taking out frustrations on Chiron. The next day, Chiron admits to Juan and Teresa that he hates his mother and asks what a “faggot” means. Juan describes it as “a word used to make gay people feel bad.” He tells Chiron it is okay to be gay and that he should not allow others to mock him. After asking Juan whether he sold drugs to Paula, Chiron leaves as Juan appears distraught and remorseful for his actions.
Now a teenager, Chiron juggles avoiding school bully Terrel and spending time with Teresa, who has lived alone since Juan’s death. Paula lets her crack addiction with prostitution get the better of her and coerces Chiron into giving her money Teresa loans him. One night, Chiron has a dream in which his friend Kevin has sex with a girl in Teresa’s backyard. On another night, Kevin visits Chiron at the beach near his house. While smoking a blunt, the two discuss their ambitions and the nickname Kevin gave Chiron when they were children. They kiss, and Kevin masturbates Chiron.
The next morning, Terrel manipulates Kevin into participating in a hazing ritual. Kevin reluctantly punches Chiron until he is unable to stand before watching as Terrel and his goons beat him up. When a social worker urges him to reveal his attackers’ identities, Chiron, not wanting to turn Kevin in, refuses, stating that reporting them will not solve anything. The next day, an enraged Chiron walks into class and smashes a chair over Terrel’s head. The police arrive and arrest an expelled Chiron for assault, sending him to a juvenile hall.
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