The University of Vermont's Independent Voice Since 1883

The Vermont Cynic

‘Moonlight’ in wrong spotlight

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Here is my official Top Four  Favorite Things About “Moonlight” list.

One: The opening scene, in which a suave Mahershala Ali playing the drug dealer, Juan, cruises through his poor, black Miami neighborhood, with a crown dashboard ornament, while “Every N—– Is a Star” by Boris Johnson slips like velvet through his speakers.

Two: The ending scene of the film’s first act; feeling the tension build up until the moment that Chiron asks Juan “What’s a f—–?” and then waiting for Juan’s response so that I could breath again.

Three: Witnessing the same head-tilt, slumped shoulders, and timid eye-contact transform Alex R. Hibbert, Ashton Sanders and Trevante Rhodes — three incredibly distinct actors — into one withdrawn boy as he grows into a man.

Not only was “Moonlight” an achievement in film and storytelling, but it made history this year at the Oscars.

“Moonlight” was the first film with a gay main character to win the award for Best Picture.

Mahershala Ali was the first Muslim actor to ever win an Academy Award.

Though “Moonlight” was not the first film with a predominantly black cast to win the award for best picture, it is the first that depicts black life in the modern era, focusing on contemporary issues of class, drug abuse and sexuality.

This is all to say that, in the aftermath of an admittedly confusing award ceremony, to focus on anything but the excellency Jenkins’s film would be to miss the point.

When I googled “‘Moonlight’ Best Picture” to do a little research for this article, however, a solid 50 percent of the headlines included “La La Land” or some reference to the award mix-up.

Yes, The Rock made a hilarious face when the cast and crew of “La La Land” were told they did not win Best Picture, and that makes for great click-bait.

Now that the dust has settled, can we please take a moment to appreciate “Moonlight” and a truly historical moment in filmmaking?

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The University of Vermont's Independent Voice Since 1883
‘Moonlight’ in wrong spotlight