One of the best reviewed films of the year after coming out of high praise at Toronto, Barry Jenkins’ Moonlight won Best Picture – Drama tonight at the Golden Globes. The film follows a young boy named Chiron who is trying to find his identity as he grows into manhood.
Based on Tarell Alvin McCraney’s play In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue — the film was divided into three chapters in the life of Chiron so three different actors play the lead role separated by 10 years each. Set in Miami’s Liberty City projects, the picture offers a melancholic portrait of life in the unromantic suburbs as the main character navigates the crack-riddled streets of his neighborhood and struggles with a complex love for his best friend.
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In accepting the award, Jenkins said, “As someone who went eight years without making a piece, I thank A24. A24. A24.” Moonlight has been handled deftly by distribution executives at A24, rolling out in four screens initially and grabbing a whopping $414K to rank as the best opening per screen average of the year at the specialty box office. No small feat for a relativity new director and a film with no name stars. This is only the second film for Jenkins after his 2008 Medicine for Melancholy.
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Of her role as Chiron’s crack-addicted mother, Harris told Deadline: “I underestimated how difficult the role would be. But Paula [is] she’s very, very complex. And also, for me, because I’m Miss Teetotal. I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, I don’t do anything like that. I felt this huge chasm between us. It was like she was on the other side of the world, and how was I going to reach her?”
The film was nominated for six Golden Globes winning the biggest one of the night with Best Picture – Drama. It has also been nominated for three SAG Awards, five Independent Spirit Awards, and won Best Director and Best Supporting Actress for Naomie Harris from the National Board of Review. Director Jenkins has also been nominated for Best Original Screenplay from the WGA.
Little pictures like this thrive on word-of-mouth. With that in mind, Jenkins asked those who have seen the movie to help out and “Tell a friend. Tell a friend. Tell a friend.”
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