Moonlight is an absolutely beautiful film. From start to finish every shot seems new to your eyes and altogether breathtaking. Set in South Florida, director Barry Jenkins shines a light on an often overlooked part of the country and his intimacy with the area shows. Every camera move is deliberate without seeming over thought. The use of dream sequences was surprisingly deftly done–short and concise avoiding the common traps of belaboring the viewer with visual symbolism. Ashton Sanders is absolutely captivating as Chiron in his teens. His broody moodiness conflicts with his shy demeanor in a way that perfectly bridges the child from the first act to the adult from the third. Moonlight is at its best when he is on screen. And despite an ending that feels too short and tacked on, Moonlight ends as an arresting experience of a black boy in America.
Rated R. In select theaters only.