REVIEW: Moonlight

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Moonlight
Directed by: Barry Jenkins
Written by: Barry Jenkins (screenplay), Tarell Alvin McCraney (story)
Starring: Alex R. Hibbert, Ashton Sanders, Trevante Rhodes and Naomie Harris

Moonlight, a coming-of-age film from Barry Jenkins, is a moving, intimate epic. Told in three stages of his protagonist, Chiron’s, life — as a young boy (Alex R. Hibbert), a teenager (Ashton Sanders) and an adult (Trevante Rhodes)– Jenkins and the three actors who portray Chiron show his evolution from a quiet, cripplingly shy child to a more confident adult without losing sight of his pent up frustration and insecurity.

When we first see Chiron, he’s a frantic blur, a boy fleeing through grass from schoolyard bullies in Miami, his backpack thrashing behind him. To escape, he heads to a largely abandoned drug den and tries the doors until one opens. Locking it behind him, he’s finally alone and, temporarily, safe.  It’s not long before Juan (Mahershula Ali), a drug dealer who becomes a warm, caring father figure to the tormented boy, breaks off one of the wooden panels covering the window.

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REVIEW: Weiner

Weiner movie

Weiner
Directed by: Josh Kriegman & Elyse Steinberg
Written by: Eli B. Despres, Josh Kriegman & Elyse Steinberg

Why was Anthony Weiner destroyed? If you followed the headlines behind the former New York Congressman and mayoral candidate, you know an embarrassing photo of his bulging underwear was accidentally shared on his Twitter account, which led to more embarrassing photos and online encounters he had with random women.  But why was he so destroyed?

In Weiner, an extraordinary documentary from Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg, the answer seems to be that he didn’t feel permanent shame for the sexting scandal.  It was his refusal to abandon public life, and to try to move forward in an age where a person’s every act, especially their mistakes, can be archived and dug up online. He’s a relentless, impulsive narcissist, yes, but also an confrontational idealist.  It’s what makes him both a good public speaker and a bad public figure.

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