pity (babis makridis, 2018)
geezer cinema/film fatales #137: mothering sunday (eva husson, 2021)

african-american directors series/revisiting the 9s: moonlight (barry jenkins, 2016)

[This is the sixth in a series that will probably be VERY intermittent, if I remember to post at all. I've long known that while I have given my share of 10-out-of-10 ratings for movies over the years, in almost every case, those movies are fairly old. So I got this idea to go back and revisit movies of relatively recent vintage that I gave a rating of 9, to see if time and perspective convinced me to bump that rating up to 10. Of course, it's always possible I'll drop the rating, but time will tell.]

Back in 2018, I wrote:

The film is seamless as it progresses through three different periods in a young man's life, with the three actors portraying the boy/man clicking on an emotional level, no matter whether they look like the same person. Like the best coming-of-age stories, Moonlight is passionately specific in its story yet remarkably universal in its appeal. It feels true to the life of a black boy gradually discovering his gayness, but the insights into his life let everyone in the audience into the story. Complex, but made with such confidence that it never confuses. Great acting across the board, as well. #89 on the They Shoot Pictures, Don't They list of the top 1000 films of the 21st century.

Well, some one out there has changed their opinion of Moonlight: it has risen on the 21st-century list from #89 to #75 to #28 and now to #22. I haven't really changed my opinion. I still found Moonlight to have universal appeal, with great acting. But I never felt like I was watching something I had underrated before. I have great regard for Moonlight, placing it at #1 on my list of 2016 films, ahead of other excellent movies like I Am Not Your Negro, The Handmaiden, and 20th Century Women. Back then, I didn't know Mahershala Ali. Since then, he has won two Oscars, one for his work in Moonlight. Naomie Harris gave her usual fine performance.

I'm not trying to belittle the accomplishments of Moonlight. But it still falls just short of 10/10 for me. And if this doesn't demonstrate how silly ratings are, I don't know what does.


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