Judas and the Black Messiah

Judas and the Black Messiah ★★★★½

he did that — but that ain’t all he did

watched this on a saturday night in the middle of a long weekend. timed it so that i’d be awake enough to watch something lighter after, bc i figured i’d need it — and h o o b o y do i.

every time i think about daniel kaluuya i think about his interview w nick grimshaw on radio1 and how he does the skins rap from memory. the mind rly boggles @ his range/ talent/ Conviction — there isn’t one character of his that i don’t remember Feeling for. this role is no exception — he creates such a precise and compelling contrast between the forcefulness of fred hampton’s beliefs (That Scene from the trailer !!!) and the soft moments w deborah/ quiet moments w the rest of the party (ma winters 🥲).

the rest of the ensemble performances were also rly good, though i will say re: lakeith stanfield that i wanted More (but idk whether this is a function of the way his character was written, or his performance). dominique fishback was a real standout — the grace! the vulnerability! the STRENGTH!

also re: jesse plemons and his character — for a while i thought there were some v interesting questions/ choices being asked of him and i wanted to see him struggle w those a bit more. but he didn’t and so at the end i had kind of a one-dimensional impression of the character. which i suppose is not wrong — i don’t know anything about the irl people/ person it’s based on but if is just a White Man in the late 60s then this result is Unsurprising. 

the end credits are also Staggering, and immediately put a filter on the 2 hours you just watched. there are some rly ridiculous facts; and that art like this is still so relevant is both inspiring (in the ways it tells these stories), and frustrating (in how it reveals how little things have changed/ improved). this is such a powerful film.

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