A few weeks ago, the 89th Academy Awards ended with a stunning fiasco, Moonlight was revealed to be Best Picture after LaLaLand was announced the winner by accident. A lot of people called Moonlight’s Oscar win to be “a landmark in diversity for Hollywood”, especially for black cinema. However, it seems clear that there are shenanigans at
While Moonlight is a well shot, well acted film, featuring heavy subject matter about being black and gay in the ghetto, the movie is honestly rather dull. People praise Moonlight for it’s elegance and subtly especially when it comes to Chiron, the understated main character; the only problem is that he’s doesn’t really do anything. He’s such a passive protagonist; he doesn’t really make any decisions to push the narrative forward, making Moonlight quite the chore to watch.
I know some might say, “how dare you? Moonlight is a masterpiece!” but honestly ask yourself, do you really come out of the theater knowing anything about Chiron, other that the fact he’s gay and lived a troubled life? People love to criticize LaLaLand for being “Hollywood escapism” and having mediocre singing, but at least Ryan Gosling’s character had goals, ambition, and interests; he made decisions that impacted the story. The same goes with Andrew Garfield in Hacksaw Ridge, he played a combat medic in WWII who made the decision to be a pacifist during WWII. That’s called a compelling protagonis.. Moonlight simply asks the audience to feel sorry for this boring black kid in awful circumstances.
You could never convince me that Moonlight didn’t win in order for old white Hollywood to prove “hey, we’re not racist! See!” The very fact that Damien Chazelle won Best Director for LaLa Land was further indication that Moonlight’s win was a smart political move on behalf of the Academy, and a smart one at that. A year ago, Creed and Straight Outta Compton, two incredible films that featured black characters, directed by black men, were not even nominating despite being among the best films of that year. The Oscar for Moonlight simply feels like an apology for hashtag #Oscar’s So White. To clarify, I’m not beating on Moonlight for the sake of it, I just want films to be recognized for it’s own merits, not for fulfilling a SJW quota. I do believe Moonlight is a really good film, with some amazing shots and thought provoking content… but the most exciting things in this blatant Oscar bait involved a chair and a hand job at the beach. Let’s keep it real.