That’s not what I meant at all
Yes it was.
Here’s more fuel for another fire.
At least we all agree that Moonlight deserves to not win.
Fuck no we do not all agree!
Pretty moving anecdote from Mahershala Ali’s SAG acceptance speech tonight:
I won’t touch the performances. Those were uniformly well done.
But the direction was utter crap in most parts.
Like…steaming, fresh from the mound, crap/
Many unnecessary scenes and cut aways that served NO purpose but to give (awkwardly placed) style and just took away from what was meant to be a character piece.
Just…very terrible direction.
Nope, totally disagree. Every scene added something, just not always in a way that progressed the plot. The story’s about a boy who didn’t know what real love looked like or felt like because he only ever got fleeting glimpses of it. Those scenes with his mother were important. The scenes with Juan and Janelle Monae were important. I think it’s obvious how important the scenes with Kevin were. There wasn’t an inch of fat in the whole thing, I thought.
I don’t mean character scenes, I mean how we’d get utter drivel like a minute focused on a neon lit hallway or chopping vegetables.
There are poignant bits of dialogue, but what could have been a powerful film feels suffocated and over-indulgent.
That stuff breaks up monotony, it’s a form of punctuation. Like a comic book panel that focuses on a character’s hand or a photo on a wall while two characters are talking. The danger with that kind of interruption is that it can muddy the viewer’s conception of space or pacing but Jenkins did it infrequently enough that that was never an issue.
Also, the images were consistently beautiful. That’ll justify just about any deviation.
And with the neon lit hallway, that was the setting of a pretty important moment in Chiron’s life. Spending time on it + making it a memorable image is how it becomes important to the viewer. That’s clever directing, not drivel.
Then it failed because it was monotonous.
When the actors were actually playing off each other the movie shines, because they are both good and because the script has amazing pieces of dialogue. The third act in particular works with a fantastic theme about how the main character has finally realized control over his life through attaining physical strength…but his doing so has only increased his societal prison and isolation from everyone around him.
That is FANTASTIC. It’s an amazing theme and idea and they don’t play with it because they waste so much goddamn time with useless bits.
It’s infuriating. I don’t care if it’s visually appealing, it chokes the life out of the movie.
I think you’re overstating how frequent that stuff was. It didn’t happen that often, certainly not enough to choke the life out of the narrative.
I noticed it only because it would pop up and disrupt the momentum.
It’s not so frequent in the individual acts, but when strewn together you realize that as a two hour movie it could have done so much more if it had cut that shit out and used it effectively.
It’s been a few months since I watched the movie but I honestly feel like what you’re describing, regardless of the question of whether it worked or not, might collectively account for like 10 minutes of the movie.
It might have, maybe it might have.
But we both know that in terms of movies…10 minutes does account for a lot.
10 minutes between two different cuts of the same film can lead to different experiences altogether.
That’s the magic of film…the meaning of the language of cinema.
It can, and I wish more movies would spend 10 minutes finding beautiful images and showing them to us.
My point was that of the film’s 110 minutes, 10 (mmmaybe) were spent on scenes/images that weren’t directly related to progressing story and revealing character. But the rest was definitely story and character, while maintaining the excellent visuals of the true diversions.
Jenkins was leaving his imprint on the movie. Some might argue that a director shouldn’t do that, that they should focus on telling the story first and foremost, but story first and foremost often makes for dull, or at least unmemorable, movies. Kubrick, Scorsese, Lynch, Ridley Scott, Coppola, Refn, McQueen, Villeneuve, all those guys spend time on finding beauty in their films, sometimes in ways that disrupt or even halt the narrative. But that kind of thing really does serve a story purpose. When an image sticks in the viewer’s mind, then their relationship to the story becomes that much deeper. I would not feel as much as I did for Chiron if his journey had not been so beautiful. Same is true for Deckard in Blade Runner, Jesus in The Last Temptation, Sailor & Lula in Wild at Heart, Gosling in Drive, Fassbender in Shame, Amy Adams in Arrival… I could go on. I like lists.
Anyway, it’s clear we have vastly different takes on the movie, but I felt like I needed to defend it. It really moved me, and Barry Jenkins’s direction was a big part of why.
I think it’s all well and good that a director leave his mark on a movie.
Out of all of the ones you mention, Kubrick, Lynch, and Scott especially…they leave their mark with film choices that work to what they aim to do stylistically.
Close, cerebral, thriller. Free flowing sense experiences. Sword and sandal epics.
That sort of thing that leads to a good story told in a unique way.
Jenkins did not.
The movie ached to be a taut character piece that had real stake in human psychology.
His “mark” hurt it, badly.
I mean, I’m not saying it’s a bad movie overall.
The dialogue is great, the ideas are fantastic, and the performances are very good.
Direction is just shite.
Hey, any one of the actors deserves to win in their respective category.
They did an amazing job.
Is the third act version of the main character nominated? Because he was amazing in this movie.
But it doesn’t deserve to win for best picture, and definitely not for best direction if it was nominated for that as well.
…cause dayum it stunk there.
From what I’ve seen, that is a stylistic choice of “direction”. I think Affleck emulated it in Live By Night, which tanked. Some find that bright-lit over-the-top cleanliness retrospective fantasy stuff to be quite shit. Add music, all the Academy boneheads flock to it and think it wonderful. Try it gangster and people stay away in droves. It’s that Broadway musical theater genre stuff (even if presented as a gangster movie or stardom fantasy) that just makes me cringe and shudder. (My direct apologies to Sheena, Ronnie; but it’s like that.) Another example might be Chicago. And since things in genres tend to get standardized, the lighting choices in the above-vilified films are just obnoxious. How about somebody clue them in that there was never a blue sky in the Los Angeles basin until 2005? Brown, it was! And L.A. is a filthy city. Nobody cleans anything, and smog and cigarette smoke clung to everything. It’s not even good fantasy, Not enough swords.