Maudie is the gentlest of art house films and will require discerning audiences to discover and appreciate it. But when they do, I trust that star Sally Hawkins' performance will be recognized as one of the best of the year.
She's played Anne Frank on Broadway and Princess Armidala in a Star Wars trilogy; she's portrayed a stripper, an assassin and a "black swan." But Portman's portrayal of Jackie Kennedy is near-perfection.
Moonlight will open in North American theaters in late October. By then, it should well be on its way to many honors, including certain recognition from the Motion Picture Academy. It's a lock for a Best Picture nomination.
A sweeping, romantic drama that will find comfortable lodgings in art house theaters when it opens in North America, hopefully sooner than later (the film is still in search of a North American distributor).
In another director's hands this material could result in a disaster of epic proportions. But Nocturnal Animals will probably have fans and critics of Tom Ford's work debating its merits for years to come.