Judas and the Black Messiah

Judas and the Black Messiah ★★★★

I know it's a ridiculous sentiment to use Oscars for any sort of real judgement of a movie, but if Sacha Baren Cohen beats out Daniel Kaluuya, we're rioting, right? But, even more egregious is the fact that not a single credible predictor is choosing Lakeith Stanfield, who I am very close to calling my favorite current actor and who gives my favorite male performance of this oscar season. Both of these gentlemen bring such complexity to roles that absolutely demand it, especially Stanfield. Besides those two, Jesse Plemons and Dominique Fishback also have wonderful arcs with Plemons bringing almost a sense of understanding to a character that could have easily been a one-note bad guy given his role in Fred Hampton's murder, and Fishback showing equal amounts of strength and vulnerability as Hampton's girlfriend.

I went to the theater and saw Minari and this back to back and definitely liked this a bit more, but what an emotional four hours. This movie really just drains you, I left the theater angry as hell despite pretty much knowing the Fred Hampton story by heart already. Shaka King directed the absolutely shit out of something that could have been a pretty paint-by-numbers biopic. Even the side characters were given time to shine and were allowed to show their pain.

It's a shame to me that the people that really need to see this probably never will, because it packs a lot of history for a two-hour movie and provides some very clear rational for what the Black Panther Party stood for and what they were trying to accomplish.

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