Gay drama Moonlight tipped for Oscars glory

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Gay drama Moonlight is tipped for glory at the Academy Awards this weekend.

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

The film has picked up a string of award nominations, one of the only LGBT-themed films in contention for major cinema awards this year.

Ahead of this Sunday’s Oscars, Moonlight triumphed at the Writers Guild of America Awards, edging out firm favourite La La Land to scoop the top prize.

After the victory, fans of the film are holding out hope that it can also pull off Oscars victories over La La Land – which had previously been expected to sweep up awards.

At the Oscars Moonlight is 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.

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

GLAAD notes: “While other LGBTQ films have garnered major individual honors, MOONLIGHT is notable for the number of nominations acquired within a single year within the Academy’s history.

“The last LGBTQ film to receive eight nominations was the Harvey Milk biopic Milk (2008), which took home two statuettes: Best Original Screenplay for Dustin Lance Black and Best Actor for Sean Penn.”

Also nominated is I Am Not Your Negro, the documentary about and inspired by gay novelist, playwright, and author James Baldwin.

The film is nominated in the Documentary Feature category.

At last week’s WGA Awards, Moonlight screenwriter and director Barry Jenkins accepted the top award, thanking the string of people who were crucial in helping make the film.

The director also referenced the film’s deeply personal nature – previously explaining that scenes featuring drug-addicted mother Paula (Naomie Harris) drew inspiration from his own life growing up – adding that writing can “bring you closer to who you are”.

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”.