“Moonlight ” is as wistful a film as its title might suggest. Director Barry Jenkins, in only his second feature, has created a singularly powerful and masterfully restrained work of art about a young man’s coming of age in South Florida told in three different stages – child, teenager and young adult.
This is no “Boyhood,” however. There are three actors portraying Chiron (surely to be a Sophie’s Choice come awards season), and although it takes a bit of imagination to accept the three as the same person, “Moonlight” feels somehow even more poignant than that 12-year experiment. That’s no small feat, and perhaps that’s because of the power of the subject and its exploration of the gayness of an African American man.