Put forward for consideration for your Pajiba 10, I would like to humbly submit Ryan Gosling—
HA HA LOL J/K IT’S BARRY JENKINS.
I would like to start this post with an apology. An apology to you, noble readers; to myself; and to Barry Jenkins, the enormously talented (AND OSCAR-WINNING) director of the gorgeous, touching (AND OSCAR-WINNING) Moonlight. See, a few months back, I did a post on how the Moonlight cast, aside from being just plain scorching hot, has style for days. I mean, of course it does. 99 percent of your cast could wear burlap sacks, but if that other 1 percent is Janelle Monáe, she’s going to drag up the average enough to get you to the “most fashionable” tier. But Trevante Rhodes, Mahershala Ali, André Holland, Naomie Harris, Ashton Sanders (especially Ashton Sanders): They all bring it. And so does Jenkins, whose dapper sartorial stylings we were treated to all throughout (AN ULTIMATELY SUCCESSFUL) awards season.
Barry: I’m sorry. Consider this Pajiba 10 FYC post my humble offering and a plea to get back into your good graces. Not that I think I was ever really in your bad graces, because A) you don’t know I exist, but B AND MORE IMPORTANTLY) look at this man’s smile and tell me he is not more pure of soul than anyone you have ever met.
We’re only allowed one FYC post per writer
because otherwise Dustin would clog the site with paeans to Ryan Reynolds, but know that if you want to vote for Barry Jenkins and also Ava DuVernay, you are making correct choices in your life and God in heaven will thank you for it.
You know what I love? Moonlight. My favorite movie from last year—heartfelt, compassionate, beautiful from a technical standpoint, told a story of the sort that Hollywood tends to ignore, gave us this André Holland gif. And it was Jenkins’ second movie. His second. He’s only 38 years old! That’s ridiculous! You know what else I love? Barry Jenkins’ well-documented love of Isabelle Huppert.
Roll the tape. From Jada Yuan at Vulture:
The moment I mentioned Isabelle Huppert, Jenkins grabbed my shoulder. “IS SHE HERE?!!!???” he wanted to know. Désolé. No. “Did you see my face? Did you see my face? Did you see my face? She’s amazing!”
Barry Jenkins is talented, hot, and smart, which is the baseline of what you need to join the august ranks of the Pajiba 10. Being able to rock a suit also helps:
And so does having a sense of humor.
But what puts Barry Jenkins above and beyond, for me, is the enthusiasm. This is a man who RTs Moonlight memes. If he sees you watching his movie on a plane, he will strike up a friendly conversation with you. His response to happening across a bootleg of Moonlight in a small Mexican town is unfettered delight that the movie made it there. He geeks out at meeting Juliette Binoche. WHO AMONG US etc. etc. Basically, picking Barry Jenkins as my Pajiba 10 FYC is the only shot I have at somehow worming my way into having a drink with the man and asking him what Isabelle Huppert smells like. He’s a beautiful human being. He deserves it. It’s time.
So, again. Who’s going to vote for Barry Jenkins in this year’s Pajiba 10? It’s YOU.
And also YOU.