Monday, May 14, 2018

"Moonlight" and happy endings ....

"I hear there's another kind of flu going around," someone said over the weekend as I was coughing my lungs out. No kidding, although it's the coughing that wakes me up in the middle of the night and keeps me up that's really annoying. Other than that, not so bad.

While reclining on my bed of pain, I've been working through the LGBTQ-themed film lists on Netflix and Amazon Prime --- both substantial, some very good, many mediocre and some very bad.

Which is how I finally got around to watching "Moonlight" --- which is very good --- and feeling guilty because I hadn't watched it before. "Moonlight" won the Academy Award for best picture in 2017 --- the first film with an all-black cast and the first LGBT film to win best picture.

It's not the sort of film that draws big in Iowa. Here's quote from Trevante Rhodes, who portrays the adult Chiron, that helps to explain why --- "Being a black person in America right now is shit, being a homosexual in America right now is shit, and being a black homosexual is the bottom for certain people."

Being black in Iowa's tough enough, but gay, too? Yikes.

"That’s why I’m so excited for people to see Moonlight, "Rhodes continued. "I don’t feel like there’s a solution for our problems, but this movie might change people. That’s why you do it — because you feel like you’re doing something that matters. This is someone’s story."

As I said, it's a very good film --- and merely watching it can make a difference.

For those unfamiliar with the film, in tells the story of Chiron in three stages --- as a boy, as a high school student and as an adult --- as he deals with the chaos around, and inside, him.

That's good share of the cast above (from left) Mahershala Ali as Juan; Naomie Harris as Paula, Chiron's mother; Barry Jenkins, director; Tarell Alvin McCraney, writer and executive producer (his play, "In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue," was the basis for the film); Janelle Monae as Teresa, Juan's girlfriend and Chiron's sometimes surrogate mother; Andre Holland as Kevin; and Trevante Rhodes as the adult Chiron.

Life has enough tribulation, so it seems to me that when possible movies should have happy endings, or at least leave open the possibility of imagining one. That's the case, here. Chiron and Kevin reunite and the film ends. But I like to imagine Chiron giving up his career as an Atlanta drug dealer, moving home to Miami and settling down with Kevin and living happily ever after. Why not?

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