It is hard to picture the humble origins of the widely-released and Oscar-nominated Moonlight. Without a doubt, the film owes its rocketing success to the strength of its source material – Tarell Alvin McCraney’s autobiographical stage play had sat at the bottom of a drawer for ten years before Barry Jenkins and film school best mate cinematographer James Laxton picked it up. Carving out a space for POC and LGBT narratives, Moonlight has already eclipsed its competition. Above everything, this is an inspirational film that, in both its production and its story-matter, demonstrates how tight male friendships can overcome financial setback.
That all said, I don’t like it’s very likely Moonlight will take Best Picture. It entirely deserves the award but Academy votes tend to be judge films retrospectively. Barry Jenkins is so new to the scene and Damien Chazelle was criminally overlooked for Whiplash that the outcome is very predictable – but I still think David Lynch would’ve made a better director of La La Land.