Yes, yes, an envelope and a mix-up, and blah, blah, blah. That’s not important. What’s actually important is that Moonlight, directed by Barry Jenkins, written by Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney, won three golden statues during Sunday’s broadcast. The night kicked off with Mahershala Ali winning for Best Supporting Actor, then Jenkins and McCraney won for Best Adapted Screenplay – the movie was adapted from McCraney’s play, In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue – and the night ended with the now infamous envelope mix-up.
Nevertheless, Moonlight still won the Oscar for Best Picture. That’s what you need to know. A movie chronicling the life of a gay black man navigating the harsh world of his Miami neighborhood that deftly treats its characters and subject matter with love, respect, and honesty won Best Picture. It is no small feat considering the movies it was up against and the less than stellar record of the Oscars handing out Best Picture awards to less deserving films over, shall we say, more deserving films. And while people often shirk the Oscars and go on about how award shows are irrelevant, the fact of the matter is that the visibility gained by Moonlight‘s win on an international broadcast will bring more eyes towards the film than its initial run in theaters. That boost in viewership has the potential to give Jenkins, McCraney, and all those involved greater opportunities to tell more stories (big or small) through the medium of film. And the more stories they tell, the more black and LGBTQ movie-going audiences have the chance to see themselves reflected in those stories.
But it’s not my place to wax poetic about Moonlight anymore than I already have. Instead, you should watch the movie and then read some or all of the links provided below to give you more insight on the movie from those whom it affects most.
Firstly, you can stream Moonlight via the A24 website. Hopefully the film returns to theaters after its win, but at the very least there are plenty of digital platforms from which to watch.
Secondly, read these pieces below:
Renée Graham – ‘Moonlight’ in Donald Trump’s America, The Boston Globe
Michael Cuby – Why Moonlight‘s Oscars 2017 Win Is So Important For Queer Black Men, Teen Vogue
James McConnaughy – Moonlight & The Handmaiden: Two Very Different Takes on Intimacy, The Mary Sue
Vernon Jordan, III – How ‘Moonlight’ Looks Out For the Humanity In Us, The Establishment
Shane Thomas – Moonlight isn’t just a part of the conversation, it is the conversation, Media Diversified
Amanda N’Duka – Tarell Alvin McCraney On ‘Moonlight’s Message: “I Think People Were Hungry For That,” Deadline
Kristy Puchko – Review: Barry Jenkins’ ‘Moonlight’ Is Beautiful, Brutal, and Rare, Pajiba
Thirdly, congrats to the cast and crew of Moonlight! You earned it and you deserve it!