Judas and the Black Messiah

Judas and the Black Messiah ★★★★½

I had been hugely anticipating this film since the first trailer came out, one of the best trailers for a film I’ve seen in recent years. It truly captures the essence and plot of the film without giving really anything of value away and it is also being masterfully edited. And seeing it being loved by so many critics and audiences only increased my anticipation. Judas and the Black Messiah completely lives us to my expectations and I would honestly consider it to be the best new release i’ve seen since Parasite. 

Shaka King is truly a name to look out for. Not only does he have the actual coolest name ever, he has some of the best direction of this Oscar season. He is able to capture one of the most important yet unknown moments in civil rights history and the complications that arose from it in such a powerful and striking way and he truly makes the film an experience you’ll remember forever. The fact that Aaron Sorkin is up for consideration for best director and not this dude is a crime. 

The film’s biggest strongpoint though is by far Daniel Kaluuya’s absolute tank of a performance that deserves every award it receives. It will go down history as one of the best portrayals of a historical figure and is akin to those of Denzel Washington as Malcolm X and David Oyelowo as Martin Luther King. He is able to capture; Hampton’s passion and fury as a speaker, his intellect and power as a leader and his warmth and compassion as a person.

Lakeith Stanfield also delivers on a fantastic somewhat lead performance as William O’Neal, the man hired by the FBI to infiltrate the Panthers and take Hampton down. My only real complaint with the film is that they could’ve done more to explore his character in great detail as he is certainly an interesting subject and it feels like you never really see him as a true protagonist. His arc is certainly well written but it could’ve benefited from a lot more which is honestly the only reason why I’m not giving it a 5 right now. 

So yeah, this is definitely the film I will be backing for best picture this year and even though I’ve not seen everything, Boseman and Kaluuya are locked in as my picks for actor and supporting actor. It is everything I wanted it to be and it’s great to actually see Ashton Samders in something for once. Like I’m sorry but him and Jharell Jerome beat out Timothee and Lucas Hedges any day.

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