Judas and the Black Messiah

Judas and the Black Messiah ★★★★½

Score: 91%

My favourite of this year's Best Picture Nominees so far. A film like this stems from the performances, and both Daniel Kaluuya and Lakeith Stanfield were phenomenal. I wish Lakeith had been nominated for Lead Actor instead because he wasn't really Supporting, but I'm glad he at least got nominated. The ensemble is also great, with Dominique Fishback and Jesse Plemons being the two supporting standouts. Shaka King's direction, particularly for what is his first major feature, is great, but it's the script where this really shines. All of the characters feel like real people, and the dialogue is captivating from start to finish. I've seen a few people complaining about Bill O'Neal's character not being complex, but I honestly disagree. Watching his struggle between doing what he knows is wrong and what will keep him out of jail is extremely captivating in my opinion. I'm delighted that this got a cinematography nomination at the Oscars, because the film looks fantastic from start to finish. The ending is one of the most powerful I've seen in a long time, and brings the film to a fantastic climax. I do kind of agree with the criticism that maybe the actors should have been younger, but then we'd have to recast two of the best performances of the year and I don't know how you'd go about doing that. Overall though, this was a fantastic film, and I would definitely recommend it.

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