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jaragon

"Moonlight" (2016)

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This is not only one of the best gay theme movies I've seen in a while but one of the best movies of the year....

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This is not only one of the best gay theme movies I've seen in a while but one of the best movies of the year....

 

Just saw it -- masterful, beautiful, deeply moving: the best movie of the year.

 

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Just saw it -- masterful, beautiful, deeply moving: the best movie of the year.

 

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Cinema art at it's finest

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This is not only one of the best gay theme movies I've seen in a while but one of the best movies of the year....

 

The L.A. Times is hinting that La La Land will not win for 'best picture' because a movie with a political theme \ angle 'needs' to win.

 

Arrival was the columnist first choice for what should be very obvious reasons.

 

Moonlight was their second choice.

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The L.A. Times is hinting that La La Land will not win for 'best picture' because a movie with a political theme \ angle 'needs' to win.

 

Arrival was the columnist first choice for what should be very obvious reasons.

 

Moonlight was their second choice.

" Arrival" is  interesting but kind of boring- yes it does a "political" message but it's a bit obvious..." Moonlight" is more daring but for some reason the studio seems to be downplaying the gay angle... "La La Land" is the safest feel good choice...

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" Arrival" is  interesting but kind of boring- yes it does a "political" message but it's a bit obvious..." Moonlight" is more daring but for some reason the studio seems to be downplaying the gay angle... "La La Land" is the safest feel good choice...

I agree.   So the question is will Academy voters be fine with the safest feel good choice or will they feel the need to make a statement.  Note that in the same article it said that Meryl Streep changes increased due to the need to make a statement. 

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The Best Picture Oscar will go to the "safe choice" LA LA LAND because  (1) it is safe, not especially controversial, and there are still a lot of older voters and  (2) it is about Hollywood and Hollywood loves movies about Hollywood.  I would like to see MOONLIGHT win.  I haven't seen it yet but I have read wonderful things about it.

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The Best Picture Oscar will go to the "safe choice" LA LA LAND because  (1) it is safe, not especially controversial, and there are still a lot of older voters and  (2) it is about Hollywood and Hollywood loves movies about Hollywood.  I would like to see MOONLIGHT win.  I haven't seen it yet but I have read wonderful things about it.

 

What you wrote is very logical and makes total sense.    But of course prior to November we saw some other predictions that were just as logical and sensible and we all know how that turned out!    ;)    

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The Best Picture Oscar will go to the "safe choice" LA LA LAND because  (1) it is safe, not especially controversial, and there are still a lot of older voters and  (2) it is about Hollywood and Hollywood loves movies about Hollywood.  I would like to see MOONLIGHT win.  I haven't seen it yet but I have read wonderful things about it.

I agree - the older voters may not go for "Moonlight" another safe uplifting choice is "Hidden Figures" - it's a historical period drama which celebrates women, the fight for civil rights and the space program. An all around winner which does make a political statement about breaking barriers and inclusion of all

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I agree.   So the question is will Academy voters be fine with the safest feel good choice or will they feel the need to make a statement.  Note that in the same article it said that Meryl Streep changes increased due to the need to make a statement. 

 

Moonlight's gay aspect is rather touching and not especially daring. The daring aspect is that there are two sympathetic characters in the film who are crack dealers, one of whom is gay. It's a complex film. 

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Moonlight's gay aspect is rather touching and not especially daring. The daring aspect is that there are two sympathetic characters in the film who are crack dealers, one of whom is gay. It's a complex film. 

 

Interesting letters to the L.A. Times regarding Moonlight and that it was a stereotypically film about the African-American community since those characters are crack dealers and that the safer, more PC choice,  is what Jaragon stated,  Hidden Figures (which also features women in a very positive light so there is 'two for one' as it relates to politically motivated voting). 

 

To me the larger point is that last year the L.A. Times was on a rampage related to the lack of 'people of color' nominations and the lack of diversity of the Academy voters (which were mostly over 50 white males,  so I supported adding more diversity).     The Times implied these old, white male voters were bias (which of course they were because we all are tribal,  with the only remaining question being how much does that drive us).

 

So the Academy adds new members and drops a few of those older timers and now the Times is implying many of these new members based their vote on political bias.    Little about voting for what one considers the 'best' in a given category.

 

I don't wish this thread to become political but I do wonder if someone else wasn't dominating the news cycle,  if the Times would have a different POV.

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Interesting letters to the L.A. Times regarding Moonlight and that it was a stereotypically film about the African-American community since those characters are crack dealers and that the safer, more PC choice,  is what Jaragon stated,  Hidden Figures (which also features women in a very positive light so there is 'two for one' as it relates to politically motivated voting). 

 

To me the larger point is that last year the L.A. Times was on a rampage related to the lack of 'people of color' nominations and the lack of diversity of the Academy voters (which were mostly over 50 white males,  so I supported adding more diversity).     The Times implied these old, white male voters were bias (which of course they were because we all are tribal,  with the only remaining question being how much does that drive us).

 

So the Academy adds new members and drops a few of those older timers and now the Times is implying many of these new members based their vote on political bias.    Little about voting for what one considers the 'best' in a given category.

 

I don't wish this thread to become political but I do wonder if someone else wasn't dominating the news cycle,  if the Times would have a different POV.

The Oscar So White thing was ridiculous- is the Academy suppose to nominate a minority actor just to fill some sort of politically correct quota?  This year has been a real bounty for film starring black actors- "Fences", "Hidden Figures" and the very special "Moonlight"   I never saw this film as movie about crack dealers and the drug wars even though they seem to be trying to sell it that way- never mind that main character seems to be struggling with his homosexual desires and that the only love scene in the movie features two young men.  The films power is that it manages to transcend  race and sexuality .

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The Oscar So White thing was ridiculous- is the Academy suppose to nominate a minority actor just to fill some sort of politically correct quota?  This year has been a real bounty for film starring black actors- "Fences", "Hidden Figures" and the very special "Moonlight"  

 

Exactly my thoughts. There just weren't many quality films or roles featuring blacks, Latinos, Asians, etc last year. The one performance that got overlooked that seemed to draw the most attention was Idris Elba in Beasts of No Nation, but that was a Netflix co-production and I don't know how much that effected the voting. Although this year's Manchester By the Sea was an Amazon Prime co-production, so who knows. This year had many more outstanding opportunities with the movies made, which is where the blame should have gone in the first place: the films being made, and not the Oscar nominating body.

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Exactly my thoughts. There just weren't many quality films or roles featuring blacks, Latinos, Asians, etc last year. The one performance that got overlooked that seemed to draw the most attention was Idris Elba in Beasts of No Nation, but that was a Netflix co-production and I don't know how much that effected the voting. Although this year's Manchester By the Sea was an Amazon Prime co-production, so who knows. This year had many more outstanding opportunities with the movies made, which is where the blame should have gone in the first place: the films being made, and not the Oscar nominating body.

 

What you and Jaragon have commented on is what makes this year's L.A. Times POV on the Oscars so confusing to me.

 

It is like they are saying that there should be an asterisk next to any 'people of color' winner because those selections were driven mostly by politics instead of what voters really believed were the best performances.     Note this isn't only related to people of color since they have implied Streep might win another one as a reward for of her now famous speech.

 

I would hope the main reason for the increase in nominations for people of color were due to the fact that they are feature in more high quality films this year,  but a secondary factor may be because older male white members are going to see these films that may have been outside of their typical interest zone (due to being "compelled" by Oscar so White).

 

But since this sea-change is occurring the year after the ruckus this opens the door for all type of speculation and thus that implied asterisk (which is unfair to those responsible for their outstanding work). 

 

(related to movies this reminds me of the comment Barrymore makes in Key Largo about the Osceola brothers at the end of the film).

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What you and Jaragon have commented on is what makes this year's L.A. Times POV on the Oscars so confusing to me.

 

It is like they are saying that there should be an asterisk next to any 'people of color' winner because those selections were driven mostly by politics instead of what voters really believed were the best performances.     Note this isn't only related to people of color since they have implied Streep might win another one as a reward for of her now famous speech.

 

I would hope the main reason for the increase in nominations for people of color were due to the fact that they are feature in more high quality films this year,  but a secondary factor may be because older male white members are going to see these films that may have been outside of their typical interest zone (due to being "compelled" by Oscar so White).

 

But since this sea-change is occurring the year after the ruckus this opens the door for all type of speculation and thus that implied asterisk (which is unfair to those responsible for their outstanding work). 

 

Yeah, I've seen a few posts, even on this message board, that have said that the only reason so many minority performers have been nominated was political. Your comment is the first that I've read about Streep being "rewarded" for her anti-Trump stance, and I don't see that happening. In fact, I would guess that she receives less votes than any of the other nominees for Best Actress this year, not for political reasons, but simply because there has been more positive word-of-mouth about the other nominees. The winner will be Huppert or Portman.

 

The "asterisk" talk is unfortunate, but not unexpected after the brouhaha last year. I just hope producers continue to make as many films with diverse casts and diverse storylines that every year has an abundance of performances to choose from. 

 

I did read an editorial somewhere, maybe HuffPost, where the author (who was black) was lamenting this year's nominees not because of lack of diversity but rather for the fact that most if not all nominated roles were those that had to be played by a minority performer. He feels that true equality won't arrive until there are more race-neutral roles given to minorities, and then those get recognized in awards season. My only argument with that is that most "award-bait" films are based on true stories, which by definition come with race-casting requirements.

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I did read an editorial somewhere, maybe HuffPost, where the author (who was black) was lamenting this year's nominees not because of lack of diversity but rather for the fact that most if not all nominated roles were those that had to be played by a minority performer. He feels that true equality won't arrive until there are more race-neutral roles given to minorities, and then those get recognized in awards season. My only argument with that is that most "award-bait" films are based on true stories, which by definition come with race-casting requirements.

 

Interesting.   It was my understanding that people of color wanted THEIR stories told because THEIR stories were unique.  Isn't that the core of identity politics?

 

So while I tend to agree with race-neutral roles (but hey, I'm a half breed) such roles would imply that we are all more similar than different and that is a PC no-no.

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Yeah, I've seen a few posts, even on this message board, that have said that the only reason so many minority performers have been nominated was political. Your comment is the first that I've read about Streep being "rewarded" for her anti-Trump stance, and I don't see that happening. In fact, I would guess that she receives less votes than any of the other nominees for Best Actress this year, not for political reasons, but simply because there has been more positive word-of-mouth about the other nominees. The winner will be Huppert or Portman.

 

The "asterisk" talk is unfortunate, but not unexpected after the brouhaha last year. I just hope producers continue to make as many films with diverse casts and diverse storylines that every year has an abundance of performances to choose from. 

 

I did read an editorial somewhere, maybe HuffPost, where the author (who was black) was lamenting this year's nominees not because of lack of diversity but rather for the fact that most if not all nominated roles were those that had to be played by a minority performer. He feels that true equality won't arrive until there are more race-neutral roles given to minorities, and then those get recognized in awards season. My only argument with that is that most "award-bait" films are based on true stories, which by definition come with race-casting requirements.

Oh please give me a break- first I dislike this "people of color" label which sounds both retro and insulting- so a black actor must be nominated for a role that is not a "black role"?  Define not a black role?   This is same dumb thinking that labels the Ryan  Gosling    character from "La La Land" racist because he wants to save jazz- hmm because you know white people like Dave Brubeck are not of the right color to appreciate jazz.  If an actor is going to play a historical character like the women in "Hidden Fences" the entire point of the movie is the struggle they faced because they were women and black!   Color blind casting usually works in theater but film by it's nature is a more realistic medium.   If someone had made " Fences" with an all white cast  there would have been an outrage from the politically correct police. 

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Congratulations for winning Best Picture Oscar- the first gay theme movie to ever do so.

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Congratulations for winning Best Picture Oscar- the first gay theme movie to ever do so.

Yes, "Moonlight" is proving to be a groundbreaking film.

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Finally saw it on DVD. It was... good. Perhaps over-rated, but aren't all Best Pictures?

 

It reminded me a little of Boyhood, but with three actors instead of the same one playing the different ages. Both films had stand out Mommy roles. Although Naomi Harris didn't score the prize like goody two-shoes Patricia Arquette (who wasn't addicted to drugs, just abusive men after dumping unemployed nice-guy Ethan Hawke), she does a great job not appearing too British in her Miami set role. Also both movies had groovy retro wheels: '68 Pontiac vs. '73 Chevy Impala. Little Mason grows up and winds up in the sack with his girlfriend at the dorm. Little "Little" morphs into Chiron (named after the astrological asteroid and Greek centaur symbolizing "healing") then "Black" before winding up in the sack with Kevin. (However this movie was ssssoooooo chaste that I am guessing the guys just gave each other a "good goin' bro" after the camera crew said "cut".) Also groovy '60s music updated to the modern era... and I liked Barbara Lewis' "Hello Stranger" in this one.

 

My only complaint is that there wasn't a whole lot of story. The best scenes were in the diner late in the movie, reminding me of Fassbinder stuff even though this movie was far less "gay" than Fox and His Friends or even Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (a heterosexual romance with a bit of gay feel). You know, a lot of looking with any talking restricted to topics that you aren't really thinking about.

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Finally saw it on DVD. It was... good. Perhaps over-rated, but aren't all Best Pictures?

 

It reminded me a little of Boyhood, but with three actors instead of the same one playing the different ages. Both films had stand out Mommy roles. Although Naomi Harris didn't score the prize like goody two-shoes Patricia Arquette (who wasn't addicted to drugs, just abusive men after dumping unemployed nice-guy Ethan Hawke), she does a great job not appearing too British in her Miami set role. Also both movies had groovy retro wheels: '68 Pontiac vs. '73 Chevy Impala. Little Mason grows up and winds up in the sack with his girlfriend at the dorm. Little "Little" morphs into Chiron (named after the astrological asteroid and Greek centaur symbolizing "healing") then "Black" before winding up in the sack with Kevin. (However this movie was ssssoooooo chaste that I am guessing the guys just gave each other a "good goin' bro" after the camera crew said "cut".) Also groovy '60s music updated to the modern era... and I liked Barbara Lewis' "Hello Stranger" in this one.

 

My only complaint is that there wasn't a whole lot of story. The best scenes were in the diner late in the movie, reminding me of Fassbinder stuff even though this movie was far less "gay" than Fox and His Friends or even Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (a heterosexual romance with a bit of gay feel). You know, a lot of looking with any talking restricted to topics that you aren't really thinking about.

It's an art house character study I'm still shocked that it won the best picture Oscar

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The general theory discussed over and over is that the Best Pics these days tend to be everybody's second or third choice on their ballot because their first choices are too polarizing. Probably half of the Academy loved La La Land and half thought it was too over-rated and over-exposed, purposely listing it farther below in their ballots. Moonlight was fairly consistent in its rankings.

 

I am not too-too shocked by its win. At the time of the mix-up, I thought it was either planned in advance for ratings or to counter all of the anti-Trump jokes earlier so that Washington wouldn't declare war on Hollywood as long as the "oopsie" was discussed more by the media. It may be an art house choice, but no more so than A Beautiful Mind or Birdman.

 

The similarities to Boyhood are likely unintentional, but there are enough of them that it didn't feel as fresh to me. The former film lost to Birdman, something I never understood except that maybe the Academy voters weren't ready for that type of storytelling... until now, with Moonlight. Also Moonlight is a much more simple and straightforward film than Boyhood.

 

It got a lot of hoopty doo for being the first gay Best Pic and many in the Academy didn't want to make the same mistake as in the Brokeback Mountain vs. Crash battle, but it seems so much more prudish than that film and even previous Best Pics such as Wings (which had two soldiers more gaga for each other than Clara Bow and the dying one getting that one final kiss on the lips) and Midnight Cowboy ("I'm not a real cowboy but I'm one hellavah..."). I was critical of ABC's When We Rise for being too focused on the politics and not enough on the relationships because they wanted to please those viewers expecting all of their TV to be heteronormal, but there seemed less here to warrant an R rating than on primetime TV. Mostly we got a kiss on the beach and the impression of mutual fondling off camera. Otherwise Mike Pence, Mike Huckabee, Pat Robertson or Ted Cruz have little to be coiling in horror over here. (Then again, it is doubtful any of them watched either this or 1985's The Color Purple either, which lost to Out of Africa but still managed to get nominated despite same gender kissing and more dark skin than light on screen. Come to think of it, even American Beauty had a more prolonged kiss despite Kevin Spacey looking spacey.)

 

There is a lot to like. I thought Naomie Harris was more gung-ho in her performance than winner Mahershala Ali, although I also felt both should have been on screen longer. The cinematography was quite innovative with many hand-held shots moving along side the main characters in order to present the events from the child, then teenager's point of view. Sometimes the camera would purposely go out of focus, suggesting that you are looking through these characters' eyes. Again, I suspect the director also watched some Fassbinder material such as Ali: Fear Eats the Soul previously because those diner and earlier school cafeteria scenes had a similar choreography.

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It may be an art house choice, but no more so than A Beautiful Mind or Birdman.

 

I agree with most of your points (although i haven't watched Moonlight yet; I do have it on disc, though, as I get all of the BP winners), but this line isn't exactly true. A Beautiful Mind and Birdman were both major studio films made by A-list directors and starring recognizable movies stars, none of which is true for Moonlight.

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You are right. Hollywood grew up with Ron Howard. Yet I am not thinking "art house" in the same way as you, I guess. I am also trying to remember who all famous was featured in Slumdog Millionaire.

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You are right. Hollywood grew up with Ron Howard. Yet I am not thinking "art house" in the same way as you, I guess. I am also trying to remember who all famous was featured in Slumdog Millionaire.

 

No one, although director Danny Boyle was well-known (Trainspotting28 Days LaterSunshine). I would probably call Slumdog arthouse, too. I remember going to my local Blockbuster to ask if they had any copies available and the crew working had never heard of it. And this was after it won Best Picture!

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