Reel Corner - April 2017

ReelCorner HeaderMOONLIGHT
— 2017 Best Picture Oscar winner —


True  |  False
Moonlight is the lowest budgeted film to ever win an Oscar.

True  |  False

Moonlight’s budget was under 2 million dollars.

True  |  False

The film was made in 28 days.

True  |  False

First Best Picture Oscar where the whole cast is entirely people of color.

True  |  False

First Oscar winning picture to center around a LGBTQ character.

True  |  False
Moonlight was the least widely seen film to ever win an Oscar.

True  |  False
It is a coming of age story.

True  |  False
It is distributed by A24 (a 5-year-old company that focuses of promoting small indie films).

True  |  False
Mahershala Ali, a Moonlight cast member, won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.

If you answered TRUE to all the above questions you are a winner! The stunning film’s unexpected triumph is part of a larger trend toward honoring small and intimate projects for the Academy. The manner of MoonlightBest Picture win may have been bizarre and shocking, but toppling La La Land set a number of milestones. It is the lowest budgeted film to win the prize since 1955 Moonlight came home with the Best Picture award. Due to budget constraints for marketing and distribution, it was the least seen Oscar Best Picture film. Our local Coligny Theater scrambled post Oscars and showed it for a one week engagement. Now you can download and stream it.

Whether you feel Moonlight deserved it or not, it now holds its place as an Academy Award Best Picture award winner. Was it due to the political climate of the day? Was it due to newer younger Academy voting members that may identify with current issues? Could their votes have toppled the establishment voters who may have voted La La Land as a reminiscent piece? Or Is its recognition part of a cultural movement? We will never know how it won but many reviews say it deserved it.

Rated R  |  Directed by Barry Jenkins
Mahershala Ali, Shariff Earp, Duan Sanderson, Naomi Harris

Promoters of Moonlight describe it as: A chronicle of the childhood, adolescence and burgeoning adulthood of a young black man growing up in a rough neighborhood of Miami.
A vital portrait of contemporary African-American life and an intensely personal and poetic meditation on identity, family, friendship and love, Moonlight is a groundbreaking piece of cinema that reverberates with deep compassion and universal truths. Anchored by extraordinary performances from a tremendous ensemble cast, Barry Jenkins’ staggering, singular vision is profoundly moving in its portrayal of the moments, people and unknowable forces that shape our lives and make us who we are.

The Reel Corner Review: Moonlight is a good story, sensitive and provocative, but technically the cinematography lost me with an occasional fussy, out of focus, frame and missing or misplaced dialog. There were some unanswered questions that might have helped figure out some of the relationships. How did Juan die? Was Chiron Juan’s son?  And perhaps Chiron could have had a bit more dialog.
Worth seeing? Of course, if only because it did win the Best Film of the Year Academy Award.


Reel Corner 2Donne Paine, film enthusiast, once lived around the corner from the Orson Wells Theater in Cambridge, Massachusetts where her strong interest in films, especially independent ones, began. Supporter of the arts­—especially films—she travels to local and national film festivals including Sundance, Toronto and Tribeca. There is nothing like seeing a film on the big screen. She encourages film goers to support Hilton Head local theaters—Coligny, Park Plaza and Northridge theaters. To support her habit of frequent movie going Donne is an executive recruiter and staff development consultant. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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