According to Indiewire‘s Anne Thompson, TIFF-attending critics are building upon the ecstatic praise for Barry Jenkins’ Moonlight that began in Telluride. “Strong marketer A24 will keep pushing for this,” she writes, “[but] the likeliest outcome [is that] House of Cards costar Mahershala Ali will score a Best Supporting Actor nomination for his heart-tugging role as a tough drug dealer who mentors the vulnerable young ‘Little.'”
Good for Moonlight, A24 and Ali (whose performance is a grabber), but I’m telling you two things: (1) the Telluride foo-foos did this intimate, small-scale drama no favors by overpraising it, and (2) I’ve been hearing more balanced reactions since arriving in Toronto. Yesterday a certain hotshot columnist told me “there’s not enough there there” and “it’s not gay enough.” Prior to last night’s Jackie screening a New York-based film critic said he wasn’t all that taken with Jenkins’ film. It deserves an audience and whatever accolades it may receive, but Team Moonlight needs to face facts about the likely reception among Academy/guild members as well as Average Joes.