'Tis the season for awards-worthy films to hit local cinemas, and Golden Globe winner Moonlight does so this weekend.
Moonlight is told in three very distinct chapters, each pivotal in the life of a young black man's journey from boy to man.
Shy and neglected as a boy, Chiron keeps his own counsel - bullied by school mates, bullied by his crack-addled mother, just trying to make it through the day.
When the local drug dealer takes him under his wing, this story bursts out from the cliché and will continue to do so until the final credits roll.
House of Cards fans will immediately recognise Mahershala Ali. His role here is standout and I suspect just the start of things to come for this actor.
He helps guide his character and those around him as we hit Chiron's equally harrowing teen years, with his growing need to find his place and who he is.
Set in Miami, fledgling filmmaker Barry Jenkins using all the light and colour of his hometown to paint his story as he draws his characters and their tumultuous lives with compelling accessibility.
Confronting, heartbreaking, joyous, illuminating, personal and powerful. Moonlight is many, many things - the story and its telling memorable and somehow altering.
A beautiful film. Four-and-a-half stars.
:: Director: Barry Jenkins
:: Starring: Mahershala Ali, Naomie Harris, Janelle Monae, Ashton Sanders
:: Running Time: 111 mins
:: Rating: M
:: Release Date: In cinemas now