'Moonlight' triumphs at LA Film Critics Awards: Diverse Oscar nominee?

The latest accolades for the movie 'Moonlight' came at the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards, with the movie winning the best picture prize, among others. Will the movie be nominated at the Oscars and make the awards more diverse?

David Bornfriend/A24/AP
A scene from 'Moonlight,' starring Trevante Rhodes as Chiron.

The acclaimed film “Moonlight” scored more awards-season recognition when it won best picture, best director, and best supporting actor at the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards. 

“Moonlight” is the story of a Chiron, a gay, African-American man coming of age in Miami. Three actors portray Chiron as the character ages: Alex R. Hibbert, Ashton Sanders, and Trevante Rhodes. Costars include Mahershala Ali, Janelle Monáe, and Naomie Harris. 

At the LAFCA Awards, “Moonlight” won the best picture award, the best cinematography prize, the best director award for Barry Jenkins, and the best supporting actor prize for Mr. Ali.

The movie also won best feature at the Gotham Awards. 

Other winners at the LAFCA Awards include Isabelle Huppert, who won the best actress award for the films “Things to Come” and “Elle”; Adam Driver, who won the best actor award for “Paterson”; Lily Gladstone, who won the best supporting actress prize for “Certain Women”; and Efthymis Filippou and Yorgos Lanthimos, who won the best screenplay award for the film “The Lobster.”

As for “Moonlight,” Monitor film critic Peter Rainer gave the movie a B grade, writing that “too often ‘poetic’ in ‘Moonlight’ becomes ‘precious,’ ” but praised the movie’s actors, writing that “full-out, richly layered acting need not clash with the mood, as triumphantly demonstrated by Ali, Harris, [André] Holland, and Monáe. There may not be a better quartet of performances in a single movie this year.”  

Industry watchers are seeing “Moonlight” as a strong Oscars contender. If, for example, Ali is nominated for best supporting actor, the Oscar nominees will be more diverse than they were for the past two years, when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences nominated only white actors for all the acting prizes.

Oscar nominations will be announced on Jan. 24.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.