Don’t you love Mahershala Ali? Not only is he super-talented, he’s also the first Muslim to win a best actor Oscar and, if his acceptance speech is anything to go by, an all-round nice guy. He’s so great, in fact, that he’s kind of overshadowed the movie (Moonlight) that’s recently made him a star.
So what is Moonlight about and should you see it? Let’s investigate.
What’s Moonlight About?
Moonlight follows an African-American man through three different stages of his life. In each stage, he’s played by a different actor of a different age. This casting method is risky and usually results in tedious movie-garbage like The Butterfly Effect (if you haven’t seen it, lucky you), but in Moonlight it unfolds flawlessly, charting the growth of a man as he yearns to reconcile his sexuality with the culture that surrounds him.
Mahershala Ali plays a Cuban drug dealer called Juan, who befriends the lead character during the first stage of the film.
Why Should You see it?
Along with that thing we and 87389372838729383 other websites have mentioned about Mahershala Ali being the first Muslim to win a best acting Oscar, there are other reasons to head to a screening besides his performance. Firstly, it deals with issues rarely explored within African-American masculinity, tackling them in an honest and intricate manner.
Secondly, the acting is phenomenal, seamlessly stitching the characters’ lives together over a lengthy period most movies wouldn’t dare to traverse.
Thirdly, Moonlight signals growing diversity in the film industry and the Academy’s increased willingness to recognise independent cinema: The movie is based on a play by a black writer, features an all-black cast, is directed by a black man and edited by a black woman; all for the small budget of $1.5 million. These are all good things.
Yes. The film is so gloriously visual and easy on the eye that you could probably watch it with the sound off. Not that you should.
In conclusion, go and see it.