Director: Barry Jenkins.
Starring: Alex Hibbert, Naomie Harris, Trevante Rhodes, Ashton Sanders. USA 2016. 111 mins.
Ambitious in so many ways, Moonlight is the story of an African-American gay man growing up in a USA that is perhaps even more intolerant than ever. In only his second feature after the brilliant but undervalued Medicine For Melancholy, writer-director Barry Jenkins successfully employs three different actors to portray the same character at three different ages.
Charismatic newcomer Alex Hibbert plays the young, naive schoolboy living with his emotionally unreliable addict mother (Harris, Our Kind Of Traitor); Ashton Sanders (Straight Outta Compton) is the bullied teenager fully discovering his sexuality; and American football star Trevante Rhodes gives a breakout performance as the confident drug-dealing adult, a tribute to the role model who helped him endure his difficult upbringing. Never less than riveting, Moonlight is already being showered with richly deserved awards.
Director: Damien Chazelle
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, J. K. Simmons. USA 2017. 128 mins.
A tribute to the Hollywood musical but with a story embedded in present-day Los Angeles life. Mia (Stone), aspiring actress working in a coffee shop on the Warner Brothers studio backlot, falls for jazz pianist Sebastian (Gosling). Both give effortless performances with stunning song-and-dance routines and remarkable piano playing from Gosling. The transition from musical numbers to powerful narrative is seamless, and bravura one-take shots will draw comparisons to the cinematography of Birdman.
10.30Big Scream: Exclusively for parents or carers with babies under the age of one.
Audio Described: Everyone welcome. Audio Description is available for this film, and is undetectable to anyone not wearing a headset