Gay drama Moonlight shines with eight Oscar nominations


This image released by A24 Films shows Alex Hibbert, left, and Mahershala Ali in a scene from the film, "Moonlight." The film is a poetic coming-of-age tale told across three chapters about a young gay black kid growing up in a poor, drug-ridden neighborhood of Miami. (David Bornfriend/A24 via AP)

LGBT films are coming of age in the hallowed halls of Hollywood.

Moonlight, which chronicles the life and self-discovery of a black gay man in Miami, has garnered eight Oscar nominations, including one for Best Picture.

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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.

Moonlight 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.

Moonlight provides another chance for an LGBTQ history-making moment after Carol, a lesbian love story starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, was snubbed for a Best Picture nomination last year.

Other acclaimed LGBT films, including The Danish Girl, Boys Don’t Cry, Philadelphia, Brokeback Mountain, Dallas Buyers Club and The Hours, have failed to break the “lavender ceiling” and win the top gong.

Moonlight 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”.

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.

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