The moment when Faye Dunaway pronounced erroneously La La Land as the winner of the 2017 Oscar for Best Picture was one of the most dramatic moment in all of Oscar history. A few winners’ speeches later, the director of La La Land graciously told the stunned audience there has been a mistake! “Moonlight is the real winner,” he announced. Confusion ensued but after a few minutes the true winning director, Barry Jenkins of Moonlight, took the microphone. He thanked everyone who helped him bring about his vision of making a film about the challenges of growing up as black gay kid. My interest was piqued.
Last night I watched Moonlight. Moonlight surprised me in ways that I did not expect. What I found most compelling was that we see the main character at different stages each roughly gets one third of the film’s runtime. The consistency and the transformation of the character is the most compelling. Tyron speaks few words as a kid and still does so when he is in his late twenties.
At the end of the film we find out something surprising. I wondered who wrote the script. It turns out the playwright, Tarell Alvin McCraney, wrote the [autobiographical script] while at school at Yale upon learning that his mother just had died.