Oscar Watch: Moonlight

The Telluride Film Festival, as expected, has given us another serious contender in the Oscar race as Barry Jenkins’ Moonlight has just had its premiere. Based on a play, the drama centers on the story of Chiron, an African American gay male growing up in Florida.

The pic debuted to rave reviews and its chances at Academy attention extends to numerous races. My initial round of early predictions has it nabbing a Best Picture nod and today’s buzz solidified that pick. I currently have director Jenkins on the outside looking in, but he’s certainly in the mix (he’s likely to get a nom for his Adapted Screenplay).

As for performers, Trevante Rhodes is among three actors who play Chiron at various stages of his life and he should be campaigned for in Best Actor. He’s got a real shot, as does Mahershala Ali in Supporting Actor as a drug dealer who warms to Chiron. Naomie Harris looks to be a player in Supporting Actress as the lead character’s drug addicted mother and she probably has an edge over singer Janelle Monae as Ali’s girlfriend.

Another day. Another contender in this busy week for Oscar hopefuls.

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