Deadline‘s Brian Brooks moderated a critics panel this afternoon at The Porch (“A quirky, quaint hangout with comfy porch seating and a varied selection of artisanal beers & wines”). The Key West Film Festival panelists included Indiewire‘s Eric Kohn, Rolling Stone‘s David Fear, MTV NewsAmy Nicholson, Wall Street Journal contributor Steve Dollar and a young guy I don’t know who praised A Bigger Splash. (Yes!) Asked to name their favorite films of the year, Kohn mentioned Pablo Larrain‘s Neruda, Nicholson enthused about Vikram Gandhi‘s Barry (yes again!) and Fear all but dropped to his knees in praise of Barry JenkinsMoonlight, a strong film that has been nearly suffocated with overpraise. (Nicholson mentioned that she’s heard a “scary” story about moviegoers in Dallas laughing during a second-act sex scene.) The p.a. system wasn’t loud enough, and there was a lot of competition from crowing roosters, overhead jets, sirens, rumbling motorcycles, gear-grinding buses and drunks singing in a bar across the street. Complimentary key lime mini-pies were served on paper plates.

Today’s film critic footwear included a pair of Merrell’s comfort shoes, white sneakers without laces, gray cross-training shoes with lime green accents and a pair of black Converse lace-ups. No Bruno Magli’s, no Italian suede, no saddle shoes, no cowboy boots, no canary yellow sneakers…nothing exceptional! 

(l. to r.) Steve Dollar, Amy Nicholson, David Fear, Eric Kohn.