MOONLIGHT movie posterForget about all the other nonsense, let’s celebrate that an LGBT film won best picture at the Academy Awards! Moonlight presents the life of the main character Chiron and the struggles he faces with his own sexuality as well as the physical abuse that he receives as a result of it.

The movie begins in Miami when a Cuban drug dealer Juan finds Chiron, a withdrawn child, who goes by the nickname “Little”, hiding from a pack of bullies. Chiron continues to spend time with the drug dealer, but the drug dealer’s wife abuses him. Chiron asks Juan was is a “faggot” that he’s been called at school. Juan tells him it’s okay to be gay and not let people mock him for it.

In the second phase of the movie, Chiron juggles avoiding a bully and spending time with Juan’s girlfriend after Juan’s death. Chiron’s mother has become a crack-addicted prostitute. Chiron and a friend Kevin visit the beach and discuss their ambitions, then they kiss and explore their sexuality together. Unfortunately, the bully pressures Kevin to participate in bullying Chiron. Chiron takes revenge against the bully and gets arrested.

As an adult, Chiron begins to go by the nickname “Black” and deals drugs in Atlanta. Chiron reunites with Kevin after Kevin apologizes. Chiron and Kevin talk about their lives. The movie ends with Kevin holding Chiron in a tender embrace while they flashback to the night on the beach.

The movie is based on a previously unpublished play called In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue. Filmed in Miami, Florida, the movie premiered at the Telluride Film Festival on September 2, 2016. The film was released in the U.S. on October 21, 2016, and has grossed $26 million.

Moonlight won Best Motion Picture – Drama at the 74th Golden Globe Awards, and was nominated in five other categories. The film received eight Oscar nominations at the 89th Academy Awards, winning Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor for Mahershala Ali, and Best Adapted Screenplay.

Moonlight became the first film with an all-black cast, the first LGBT film, and the second lowest-grossing film domestically produced to win Best Picture award. The film’s editor, Joi McMillon, became the first black woman to be nominated for an editing Oscar. Ali became the first Muslim actor to win an acting Oscar. The film was produced at a budget of $1.5 million.

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Photo of Michelle O'Neil Michelle O'Neil

Michelle May O’Neil has 27 years’ experience representing small business owners, professionals, and individuals in litigation related to family law matters such as divorce, child custody, and complex property division. Described by one lawyer as “a lethal combination of sweet-and-salty”, Ms. O’Neil exudes…

Michelle May O’Neil has 27 years’ experience representing small business owners, professionals, and individuals in litigation related to family law matters such as divorce, child custody, and complex property division. Described by one lawyer as “a lethal combination of sweet-and-salty”, Ms. O’Neil exudes genuine compassion for her client’s difficulties, yet she can be relentless when in pursuit of a client’s goals. One judge said of Ms. O’Neil, “She cannot be out-gunned, out-briefed, or out-lawyered!”

Family Law Specialist

Ms. O’Neil became a board-certified family law specialist by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in 1997 and has maintained her certification since that time. While representing clients in litigation before the trial court is an important part of her practice, Ms. O’Neil also handles appellate matters in the trial court, courts of appeals and Texas Supreme Court. Lawyers frequently consult with Ms. O’Neil on their litigation cases about specialized legal issues requiring particularized attention both at the trial court and appellate levels. This gives her a unique perspective and depth of perception that benefits both her litigation and appellate clients.

Top Lawyers in Texas and America

Ms. O’Neil has been named to the list of Texas SuperLawyers for many years, 2011-2018, a peer-voted honor given to only about 5% of the lawyers in the state of Texas. In 2014-2018, Ms. O’Neil received the special honor of being named by Texas SuperLawyers as one of the Top 50 Women Lawyers in Texas, Top 100 Lawyers in Texas, and Top 100 Lawyers in DFW. She was named one of the Best Lawyers in America for 2016 and received an “A-V” peer review rating by Martindale-Hubbell Legal Directories for the highest quality legal ability and ethical standards.

Author and Speaker

A noted author, Ms. O’Neil released her second book Basics of Texas Divorce Law in November 2010, with a second edition released in 2013, and a third edition expected in 2015.  Her first book, All About Texas Law and Kids, was published in September 2009 by Texas Lawyer Press. In 2012, Ms. O’Neil co-authored the booklets What You Need To Know About Common Law Marriage In Texas and Social Study Evaluations.  The State Bar of Texas and other providers of continuing education for attorneys frequently enlist Ms. O’Neil to provide instruction to attorneys on topics of her expertise in the family law arena.