The Lamb Devours the Oscars 2021 – Best Picture – Judas and the Black Messiah

by Rob · April 26, 2021 · Uncategorized · No Comments

Every day until the Oscars ceremony we’ll be highlighting a different category or movie here on the LAMB! Here’s a link to all the posts written so far:

Today, Le Anne of Tinsel and Tine is here to look at the Best Picture nominee Judas and the Black Messiah.

Thanks Le Anne!


by Le Anne Lindsay, Editor

This is one of those movies that’s become lightening in a bottle. Too bad it was released post PFCC Vote or I think this would have become our choice for best film over Ma Rainey.

There’s so much being written about Judas And The Black Messiah that I don’t really see the need to add my #MiniMovieReview, but I definitely want to highlight it on Tinsel & Tine:


FBI informant William O’Neal (LaKeith Stanfield) infiltrates the Illinois Black Panther Party and is tasked with keeping tabs on their charismatic leader, Chairman Fred Hampton (Daniel Kaluuya). A career thief, O’Neal revels in the danger of manipulating both his comrades and his handler, Special Agent Roy Mitchell (Jesse Plemons). Hampton’s political prowess grows just as he’s falling in love with fellow revolutionary Deborah Johnson (Dominique Fishback). Meanwhile, a battle wages for O’Neal’s soul. Will he align with the forces of good? Or subdue Hampton and The Panthers by any means, as FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover (Martin Sheen) commands? READ MORE (Rendy Reviews)

Production Notes Highlights:

Ryan Coogler was finishing Marvel’s historic Black Panther superhero movie when a panther figure of a different kind came into his life. He and his wife, Zinzi, were having dinner in the Brooklyn backyard of filmmaker and friend Shaka King (having first met in 2013 at Sundance when premiering their first features, the police brutality drama Fruitvale Station and the hip stoner comedy Newlyweeds, respectively). King mentioned a project he wanted to direct about Fred Hampton, the famed Chicago Black Panther Party leader.

“[We] weren’t thinking of producing anything then,” says Coogler. “But it was one of those things I couldn’t ignore. [King] would keep me in the loop, and then around the time Black Panther came out, Zinzi and I were talking about forming a production company, Proximity. Shaka said he’d love us to come on board. It was the first movie our company produced.”

Identical twins Writers Keith and Kenny Lucas (added to T&T “The So and So Brothers Post), who started developing the story in 2013-14, had taken an African American history course at the College of New Jersey in which they studied the Panthers and Hampton. When working on an FX pilot with Shaka King, the Lucas brothers asked if he’d want to direct their passion project.  READ MORE (THR The Making of)

Two Protagonists:

A dual character study of two men enmeshed in an adversarial, high-stakes relationship: the activist firebrand Fred Hampton (Kaluuya) and William O’Neal (Stanfield), the government snitch in his midst. King’s film is at its most interesting when these polarities reverse, in moments when the liar suspects he’s becoming a true believer, or the messiah faces a case of imposter syndrome… READ MORE (The Ringer)

Podcast (click image to listen):

Spiritual Elements:

The title’s term “Black Messiah” was taken directly from the real-life J. Edgar Hoover, who worked to stop the rise of someone who could “unify and electrify the militant black nationalist movement.” The film leans into that term, painting Fred as a secular Messiah figure and Bill as a complex character who betrays his would-be savior for, metaphorically, 30 pieces of silver. It’s perhaps no coincidence that some of the Chairman’s most powerful speeches take place in church: At least one features a cross prominently suspended on the wall behind Fred as he speaks. He sometimes invokes biblical allusions in his speeches and letters… READ MORE (Plugged In)

Interviews Paul’s Trip to the Movies

Tinsel & Tine Subscribers got to see a Virtual Preview Screening

I don’t get to give out screening code as often as I used to for theater screenings, but now and again I get offers like I sent for “Judas and the Black Messiah”

Why Fred Hampton’s Fiancée Deborah Johnson Changed

her given name to Akua Njeri, joining several Black Power activists in shedding their “slave names” to overcome racial oppression in the ’60s and ’70s. many Black Power activists saw the name change as a liberation in being able to define their own identity… READ MORE (Popsugar)

The Rainbow Coalition

After Barack Obama’s 2008 election victory, it was said his historic win was the result of assembling a “rainbow coalition” of voters, which included Black, Hispanic, and women voters, as well as Americans from most income groups. The term at that point, which refers to a bloc of ideologically unrelated Americans, was mostly associated with the Rev. Jesse Jackson and his Chicago-based nonprofit, Rainbow/PUSH. But rainbow coalition politics has deeper historical roots in Chicago, with origins that can be traced to the city’s chapter of the Black Panther Party and its dynamic leader, Fred Hampton, the charismatic 20-year-old set out that year to unify disparate community-based groups across Chicago, forming alliances across racial and ethnic lines….READ MORE (Oxygen)


Behind many great films is an equally great soundtrack, and that is the case for Judas and the Black Messiah: The Inspired Album Executive produced by Hit-Boy, the soundtrack features tracks from artists like H.E.R., Nas, Rakim, Lil Durk, Polo G, G Herbo, and many more. There’s even a track featuring Fred Hampton Jr., current chairman of the Black Panther Party Cubs and Fred Hampton’s son… READ MORE (StereoGum)