I was drawn to the Moonlight because of the interview with Terri Gross, the writer and director. I was perhaps expecting something else, because it failed to engage me on almost every level. I found the lack of narrative, visual imagery and atmospheric music to be pretentious. I had to strain to hear the dialogue, which left me with the sense that the narrative was intended to be somewhat obtuse. Was the viewer to think that this was a language that only blacks understand? If so, that only seems fitting in that most of the movie appears to be about nothing very convincing.
Perhaps this is petty, but I worked as an employee in a rehab setting during the 1980's and Naomie Harris would have had no teeth by the time she hit 40, if she'd made it that far. There also felt like a big disconnect between the physicality of the small, frightened boy and the man he became = muscled, racked and beyond cliche. Were we supposed to think see his isolation and sexual repression as a result of the black culture at that time or his own inability to live a fuller life? The interview with Terri Gross led me to expect a different movie - perhaps more in line with Precious or Boyz n the Hood. This felt like an art house movie intended for white intellectuals.