• A loud proclamation of a new voice in cinema- Jenkins’ debut, 2008’s Medicine For Melancholy is a C+ ugly (not his fault—it cost like nothing to make) version of Linklater’s Before Sunrise- but Moonlight is his arrival (and judging from his follow up Beale Street his aesthetic tendencies and marks of his auteur status)
  • A meditation on masculinity—and, quite miraculously, we have one of the 21st century’s best cinematic character studies and it’s about a shy character- so rare and refreshing- a counter-point
  • Apparently a 1.5 million budget which is astonishing giving how beautiful the film is- detailed as well
  • Pastels galore- gorgeous
  • From Justin Chang “With a sensual palette deeply informed by the work of world-cinema titans like Claire Denis, Hou Hsiao-hsien and especially Wong Kar-wai, the director draws out Chiron’s inner life on screen in all its roiling emotional intensity, as well as its moments of quiet, anguished introspection” Travers calls it Jenkins a major filmmakers already
  • The Boris Gardnier song opening- wonderful and then we get that long take following Mahershala Ali out of the car with a dazzling 360 shot around Ali’s dealer. We see Chiron running by in a flash
  • Chapter 1 breaks, the different names of the characters with a black screen and a flashing blue light between sequences—this is so well done formally- it’s not quite Punch-Drunk Love but still
  • Does not overdue dialogue- each scene rests
  • Mozart swells as Ali’s character teaches young Chiron to swim—the characters goodness is almost overwhelming. This is one of 3 scenes where Ali’s performance and character can bring a viewer to devastation- so well done
  • The slow-motion muted shot of Chiron’s mother yelling with the pink color splash is a stunner—along with the opening shot the film’s stylistic apex
  • The three actors portraying Chiron are superb- they all have the hang-dog look down
  • Jenkins is already a master of the close-up much like Jonathan Demme
  • The beach scene in part 2, the yellow background then the patient montage close-up of their clothes and hands gripping sand
  • The mirror with blood close-ups—repetition in the close-ups
  • Formal brilliance: before act 3 we switch from a blue light to a red light and then flashback to
  • Character study- Chiron in act three is following in Juan (Ali’s character)’s footsteps.. he’s trapping, he’s got the car—it’s such a well-drawn character
  • There’s The 400 Blows and Truffaut here with the coming of age character, Linklater’s Boyhood, but visually there’s probably more in coming with WKW (some of the color) and Malick (Jenkins clearly has the eye of a photographer)
  • —painterly and pastel tones in the Florida locations—James Laxton as DP deserves praise
  • MS/MP—leaning MP