Quick! List all the LGBT+ films that’ve won the Academy Award for best picture.
Done? Your list should look like this.
Last night, Moonlight, directed by Barry Jenkins, won Best Picture (after a slight mix-up in which La La Land was declared the winner). The film, which centers around three important chapters in the life of a gay black man growing up in Miami, is one of the lowest-budget Oscar winners of all time, costing only $1.5 million to make.
Moonlight currently sits at a 98% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and critics have called it everything from “essential” to “grand and intricate.” The film features a handful of well-known actors, like Mahershala Ali (who won the best supporting actor award for the movie), Naomie Harris, and Janelle Monáe. Moonlight also featured several relatively unknown actors, like the three who played Chiron, the main character: Alex R. Hibbert, Ashton Sanders, and Trevante Rhodes.
Barry Jenkins has certainly proved himself to be a spectacular director, and fans of diverse cinema are looking forward to his next project.
Other Academy Award winners tonight included Viola Davis for Best Supporting Actress, Emma Stone for Best Actress, Casey “I Sexually Harass Everyone” Affleck for Best Actor, The Salesman for Best Foreign Language Film, and Zootopia for Best Animated Feature Film. Moonlight also won Best Writing Adapted Screenplay.
While Moonlight is an amazing film that is both heartbreaking and visually beautiful, it hasn’t made a lot at the box office – $22.4 million as of today. In a world where we usually only see stories that feature white cishet men and women, a story like this winning Best Picture is a massive cultural shift. However, movies like this can only continue to be produced if we support them.
If you have the resources, please go see Moonlight in theaters. The film is well-worth the money, and the support of diverse representation is priceless.