War of the words: ‘Moonlight’ for best picture

Image via A24
Image via A24

Why ‘Moonlight’ is most deserving of the Oscar

By Jessica Berget, Staff Writer
The Oscars were February 26, which means the debate concerning which film will win Best Picture was finally brought to an end, and a new debate over which film should have won is going to replace it. But to save time and energy, I can tell you exactly which movie is going to and should win best picture this year. That film is Moonlight.

Very rarely do I come across a film that touches on themes of sexuality, race, and human relationships as eloquently as Moonlight. Very rarely do I come across a film that addresses even one of these themes at all. It left me speechless. Not only does this film give a gripping and detailed account of a Black youth growing up and discovering himself and his sexuality, it executes the story honestly and flawlessly. Never has a film been so real with the hardships of finding one’s sexuality and growing up facing societal inequalities, and I doubt any film will do it again. Or even come close.

The reasons for Moonlight’s success are its incredible cast, stunning cinematography, and beautiful storyline. Movies that focus on anthologies and jump through time can be quite difficult to achieve, but Moonlight succeeds without missing a beat. The film is tender and compassionate and the production value will take your breath away.

The actors who portray the main character Little throughout the different stages of his life do so with such consistency and passion that it’s a performance to behold on all three accounts. Even though each actor is in the film for a only third of the time that any of the other actors nominated for Best Actor are in their own respective films, I would argue that the main actors in Moonlight deserve an Oscar nomination, if not a win, for their short but heartfelt performances, which is a lot more than I can say about any of the actors in La La Land.

I’ve never been as physically repelled from a movie as much as I have with La La Land. It is so passionless and full of cliché story tropes and quotes that it is almost unbearable. Even the title of the film makes me unconsciously cringe. Something about the whole premise of the film screams “Oscar bait” (Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone in a musical, I mean, come on). It’s not that I don’t understand why some people would enjoy the film. On the contrary, on the surface La La Land looks like an enchanting story with enjoyable cinematography and good lyricism. But that’s enough to make almost anyone enjoy a movie. Scratch beneath the surface, though, and it is essentially a middle school play with better lighting and production value.

On the other hand, not only is Moonlight a beautiful film, the Oscars awarding a film as profound and diverse as this one would be a great victory for both the Black and LGBTQ+ community, which is why it is so important that it wins. Even if Moonlight doesn’t win the Oscar, the film is so brilliantly done that it will be remembered for years to come. It is the best movie of 2017, or even the decade, with or without the Oscar.