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Stars: Mahershala Ali, Naomie Harris, Alex Hibbert, Ashton Sanders, Trevante Rhodes, Janelle Monáe, André Holland

Director: Barry Jenkins

The winner of this year's Oscar for best film proves something of a disappointment. It's an OK if rather ordinary (and darkly photographed) examination of three stages in the life of Chiron, an African-American youngster living by the sea in Florida. His life, however, is far from idyllic.

A loner of few words, he's saddled with a crackhead mom (British actress Harris, totally convincing in the part) and unmercifully bullied at school. Hiding from the bullies in a deserted building, he's befriended by a local drugs dealer (Ali), who takes him under his wing and teaches him how to swim.

Full of lingering close-ups, the film proved a substantial arthouse success. In truth, though, it was nothing special for this critic, whose eyelids drooped more than once.

David Quinlan

USA 2016. UK Distributor: Altitude. Colour by Color Collective.
106 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 1, Swearing 2.

Review date: 18 Jun 2017

DVD review