Clare Lockhart ’17/ Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer, Stage
After confusion over the Best Picture announcement, Moonlight has been declared the winner. With it’s intense and truthful portrayal of queer black men in Miami – Moonlight follows the journey of one young man name Chiron (also known as “little” and “black”) throughout his different stages of life, and acceptance of who he is as a man. With is complex, delicate, and amazing performance from Mahershala Ali, Trevante Rhodes, Janelle Monáe, and Naomie Harris – Moonlight was a clear favorite among critics and audiences.
In his acceptance speech director, Barry Jenkins graciously said, “Even in my dreams this could not be true…but this is true,” after the mix up. In their speech for Best Adapted Screenplay Jenkins said, “If you feel there is no mirror for you…we are here for you. We have your back” and McCraney added, “We are trying to show you you and us”.
Not only is this meaningful win for those who helped create Moonlight but for artists everywhere. Moonlight is a an adaptation of the play In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue by Tarell Alvin McCraney – giving hope to playwrights if they wish to broadcast their work to broader audiences. It featured virtually unknown actors, and all of whom were actors of color. It gave a voice to the voiceless and gave representation where there was none. Moonlight sends a message to those who don’t feel represented. It lets queer men of color be full complex, and truthful human beings – instead of stereotypes of supporting characters. Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney let their characters breath and live. Moonlight’s win tonight signals big changes on the horizon – for the Academy and for artists everywhere.
Tonight Moonlight walks away with Best Supporting Actor (Mahershala Ali) who was also the first Muslim actor to win an Oscar, Best Adapted Screenplay (Screenplay by Barry Jenkins, Story by Tarell Alvin McCraney) as well as Best Picture.