Critics Rave Over Moonlight Leading Into Oscars As Star Joins The Rock With Rampage

The A24 title Moonlight arrived into this year's awards season with a ton of momentum. Threatening the likes of Hacksaw Ridge and La La Land to take the Best Picture prize. Directed by Barry Jenkins, the 2016 drama was developed by a tiny budget of just $5m, illustrating how a well crafted screenplay and career best performances can transform the ordinary into the extraordinary.

Broken into three separate segments of the same protagonist Chiron at different stages of his life, the character is portrayed by a combination of Alex Hibbert, Ashton Sanders and Trevante Rhodes. All while the audience watches the boy learn to pave his own way in difficult circumstances. There is a ton of subtext in the narrative by following the maturation of an African American child in Miami. The audience ends up being taken on a journey of self discovery and transformation.

Oscar Worthy From The Start to End

Luke Buckmaster of Daily Review argued that Jenkins may as well received a Nobel Peace Prize on top of anything at the Academy for his stellar work. Yet he doesn't reserve praise for him alone.

"The cinematography by James Laxton (Tusk, Yoga Hosers) is audaciously good," said Buckmaster. "It’s the best kind of handheld camera work in the sense small random movements convey vitality: a feeling the frame is alive and no two shots could possibly be the same. In the first scene, based outside a crack house, Laxton’s lens glides around in half circles and loops like a choreographed dance. The beginning of a technically brilliant movie."

A.O. Scott from The New York Times is equally glowing about the film. Outlining that the crime and poverty element is never overlooked to give a raw and gritty depiction of reality in parts of Black America.

"Perhaps the most beautiful thing about Moonlight is its open-endedness, its resistance to easy summary or categorization," started the reviewer. "A bullied, neglected and all-but-silent child, he grows toward an understanding of himself and his world, and though it is agonizing to witness his progress, it is also thrilling. To be afforded a window into another consciousness is a gift that only art can give. To know Chiron is a privilege."

Moonlight Actress Links Up With Dwayne For Rampage

If an Oscar nomination wasn't enough for actress Naomie Harris for her role in Moonlight, it seems like a part in Rampage is the icing on the cake for the 40-year old. The New Line film is an adaptation of an arcade video game and has Dwayne Johnson in the lead role.

To be directed by Brad Peyton with Beau Flynn on board as producer, details of the plot are being kept at close quarters. Including that of Harris' character. While the actress is so far best known for playing Eve Moneypenny in the James Bond franchise, her acclaim in the 2016 drama and now a role in the action blockbuster could propel her to new heights.

Source: Daily Review, NY Times, Variety

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