The circuit also brought new films from Damien Chazelle and Barry Jenkins, two directors who dominated the Oscars back in 2017 (Chazelle picked up best director for La La Land while Jenkins scored a shock best picture victory with Moonlight). The former picked the story of the moon landing in the large-scale drama First Man, re-teaming with Ryan Gosling who took on the role of Neil Armstrong. Reviews were strong, with a few misgivings, suggesting that both the film and Gosling could factor into the conversation. Jenkins’ adaptation of James Baldwin’s If Beale Street Could Talk might have been bigger-budgeted than his breakout but it was far from a step into commercialism, its lyrical, slow-paced ode to the power of love unlikely to please everyone. But it was met with deservingly strong reviews from critics and is close to a sure thing for academy and guild voters, its beautiful artistry likely to be recognised in a number of categories (everything from production design to … [Read more...] about Oscars 2019: who are this year’s early frontrunners?