Tuesday, April 06, 2021

Judas and the Black Messiah

Continuing our quest to watch all of the Oscar nominated films, Sharon and I watched Judas and the Black Messiah on Friday night on the AppleTV. The film earned six nominations at the 93rd Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Original Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor.

Oddly, both Lakeith Stanfield and Daniel Kaluuya [Get Out] were nominated for Best Supporting Actor. For his performance, Kaluuya won Best Supporting Actor at the Golden Globes, Critics' Choice Awards and Screen Actors Guild Awards.

The film is a biographical drama about the betrayal of Fred Hampton (played by Daniel Kaluuya) at the hands of William O'Neal (played by Lakeith Stanfield). Hampton was chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party in late-1960s, while O'Neal was an FBI informant. Martin Sheen has a small role as J. Edgar Hoover. The film is directed and produced by Shaka King who wrote the screenplay with Will Berson.

Although it is a little slow in a spots, the movie is worth seeing. As a true story, it drives home the racial struggles of the 1960s. I don't think that it will win best picture, but I am going to bet that Kaluuya wins Best Supporting Actor.

Two footnotes. First, we watched Kaluuya host Saturday Night Live this past weekend. He was very good. Second, I have got to find a biography of J. Edgar Hoover...

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