The first time I saw Moonlight, I thought it was exceptional.
Then, a question from a student in my Media Theory and Criticism class made me clarify my assessment.
I had been talking that day about how I liked certain things about La La Land, wished Loving had also been nominated for Best Picture, and — yet — sort of wanted Arrival to win the Best Picture Award because of its craft and geopolitical message, a message of unity we sorely need in these trouble times. On the other hand, I continued, Moonlight is unprecedented and speaks to gender, sexuality, and culture in other ways that are critically important.
A voice from the middle of the room asked, “Of all the films nominated for Best Picture this year, which one are you most likely to add into the syllabus for this class in coming years?”
I thought carefully for a minute or two. Then, I knew. I just knew, and the answer was so clear that it left me a little surprised.
“Moonlight,” I answered.
The next week, we arranged a field trip for as many of the students who could make it to go see Moonlight at a/perture cinema.
The second time I saw Moonlight, I was equally engaged and moved as the first time but even more impressed with certain production elements.
I love my job.