Received last night from journalist pally: “First Reformed is fifth-ranked in your Gold Derby Best Picture tally? That’s hilarious.”

HE response, tapped out this morning: “You can call it ‘hilarious’ by the follow-the-herd standards of Gold Derby (baahh!) but the know-it-alls ignoring an austere, strikingly plain moralistic drama….. a critically praised Bresson-like film that pulses with stripped-down frankness and moral guilt …perhaps the greatest moral fable of this century…a film that asks straight from the shoulder what the hell we’re all doing to the planet…not to mention that it’s Paul Schrader’s big comeback…his best since Hardcore…a film that all the top critics were creaming over last May and which obviously put Ethan Hawke’s name into Best Actor contention…handicappers IGNORING this film because (a) it wasn’t released after Labor Day and (b) because A24 has apparently thrown in the towel…THAT’S hilarious.

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