Judas and the Black Messiah

Judas and the Black Messiah ★★★★

Finally got around to all the Best Picture nominees of this year. Ended up watching this way later than the other films because it had such a late release date. But damn, I would not be upset if this wins. I loved a lot of what this was doing, but I can't help but feel like I wanted more from O'Neal's character. His paranoia, his guilt, all of that. It seems like the film scratches the surface of that, but it doesn't quite go all the way? I'm having trouble articulating, because for the most part, I actually love the approach of this story. The filmmakers could have easily just straight-up condemned O'Neal, but they wisely choose to avoid judgment and just let things play out as it happened.

Also, I thought it was going to be a straight biopic about Fred Hampton until I saw Kaluuya being nominated for Best Supporting Actor, and people were more baffled by Stanfield in the same category.

There's a lot of exciting filmmaking in this, regardless. All the acting is phenomenal, and telling this from O'Neal's point of view is probably the best way to approach this. Perhaps I wanted more development on O'Neal's character, but what this film conveys extremely well is how crucial the Black Panther Party was as a stepping stone to equality. Because I swear I have never learned this in school.

Don't know how I feel about Hamptom talking about Mao Zedong like he's some positive figure of history though...

Best Picture Nominees Ranked:
Sound of Metal
Judas and the Black Messiah
Promising Young Woman
The Father
The Trial of the Chicago 7

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