Top Ten Movies of 2016 — Number One

There is tremendous beauty and pain to be found in Moonlight. Written and directed by Barry Jenkins (based on the Tarell Alvin McCraney play In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue), the film drops in at three points in the life of Chiron (played as a boy by Alex Hibbert, as a teen by Ashton Sanders, and as an adult by Trevante Rhodes). The film probes into the challenge of coming to terms with one’s identity while operating in a fraught society that brutally rejects the version of self that’s emerging. Growing up is difficult enough without the added strain of … Continue reading Top Ten Movies of 2016 — Number One

Now Playing: Moonlight

In its particulars, the new film Moonlight comes perilously close to the sort of lurid fetishization of misery with the financially-downtrodden portions of the broader African-American community that makes films such as Precious into tedious slogs that simultaneously congratulate and exploit liberal empathy while compounding stereotypes. Within this story of a young black male who struggles with matter of identity as he grows into manhood there is a drug dealer with a heart of gold (Mahershala Ali), an addicted mother (Naomie Harris), a supposed intimate friend who delivers the ultimate betrayal (played by different actors at different ages, but by … Continue reading Now Playing: Moonlight