Gay drama Moonlight racks up eight Oscar nominations

PinkNews logo with white background and rainbow corners

Moonlight has been nominated for a string of Academy Awards.

The 2016 film, which stars Trevante Rhodes, Ashton Sanders and Alex Hibbert, explores the life of a African-American boy at different ages – portraying him struggling to reconcile his sexuality and identity.

The film picked up a string of Oscar nominations today, one of the only LGBT-themed films in contention this year.

The film was nominated for Best Picture, Cinematography, Original Score, Film Editing and Best Adapted Screenplay, while Barry Jenkins got a nod for Best Directing.

Meanwhile  Naomie Harris and Mahershala Ali landed respective Best Supporting Actress and Actor nominations for their roles in the acclaimed drama.

The film has been praised by critics and LGBT people alike for its “exploration of gay black masculinity… managing to do so without ever diminishing the lives full of complex humanity that black gay men still manage to have in America while navigating that reality”.

In a statement to PinkNews, director Barry Jenkins said: “It takes a village and this morning I was moved beyond words by the love that was shown by the Academy to so many of the wonderful people in our Moonlight village. I’m in Amsterdam at the moment, sharing Chiron’s story a continent away with people of a different culture. That’s what the spirit of these nominations signals to me: an affirmation that film has the power to erode barriers and reveal what makes us all human.”

Naomie Harris added: “Moonlight is touching many hearts at a time when people are seeking compassion and connection in the world. I am incredibly grateful to the Academy for recognizing my part of this story as well as my fellow Moonlight family. It has truly been an honor to share Barry Jenkins’ and Tarell McCraney’s beautiful journey.”

Moonlight will face stiff competition at next month’s Oscars, with acclaimed musical La La Land tipped to earn a record haul at the ceremony next month.

La La Land, which stars Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, picked up a total of 14 nominations.

Ryan Reynolds superhero film Deadpool, which had been tipped to become the first superhero film to land a Oscar nod, was snubbed by the Academy – failing to pick up a single nomination. The critically-panned Suicide Squad did pick up a surprise technical nod for makeup and hairstyling, however.

Meryl Streep also became the most nominated actress in Oscars history, landing a Best Actress nomination for her role in Florence Foster Jenkins.