I watched Just Mercy for the first time on Juneteenth on TBS. I’m going to be honest. I was bored at first but then…once the story got moving it didn’t let up. Just Mercy is a depressing yet empowering story depicting the struggles of the common black man and how we find ways to overcome the prejudice that tries to beat us down. It’s an even more poignant film when you look at the world around us at this very moment, at the people of all races who are finally standing up and saying enough is enough.
Just Mercy on several occasions had me crying as I stared at the screen, either horrified by what I was witnessing or inwardly cheering at the triumphs that so many of my people don’t get a chance to enjoy.
It was a beautiful story, led by two brilliant performances by Jamie Foxx and Michael B. Jordan, both of whom got snubbed at the Oscars and the Golden Globes despite giving some of the best performances of their lives.
Selma, a story told a million times through documentaries and personal accounts was nominated for Best Picture six years ago. So how could a movie that tells the story of a relatively unknown African-American whose deeds are just as impactful as Martin Luther King’s not be nominated for Best Picture also?
It seemed to reaffirm the struggles African-Americans face every day in this country. A movie as good, important, and as empowering as Just Mercy doesn’t get a chance to be nominated for Best Picture but The Irishman (a mediocre mobster movie with poorly CGI-ed younger versions of Robert de Niro and its other older actors) does?! It’s laughable.
I am appalled that this stunning film wasn’t nominated but…I hope that after the impact George Floyd has had on the world, maybe The Academy will begin accepting movies that feature people of color in powerful and inspiring roles for Best Picture rather than the usual slave movie bubble that they try to keep us in. (Remember, Cynthia Erivo who played Harriet Tubman was the only black actor to be nominated for an Oscar.)
If you haven’t seen Just Mercy it’s prudent to do so now. It’s the perfect film for our time in history and a truly beautiful story.
I’m giving this movie 95 out 100 and 4.5 out of 5 stars.
I thank you for reading and I hope you have a great day.