By John H. Foote

That all-important buzz for awards season begins at the major fall film festivals, and indeed First Man, Roma, Green Book and a handful of other films, and performances attracted attention.

Yet strangely, the Best Supporting performance I have seen all year is being under-discussed. Last years breakout star, Daniel Kaluuya was Oscar-nominated for his riveting work in Get Out (2017) making the British Actor instantly one of the hottest actors in the business. Small roles previous in Kick-Ass 2 (2013) and Sicario (2015) drew attention to him, but Get Out (2017) shot him into the stratosphere.

He is back this year as part of the superb ensemble film Widows, portraying a radically different role. In a word, he is electrifying as Jatemme, a dangerously, psychotic killer, muscle for his crime Lord/ politician brother. Jatemme does what his brother bids, and should he get to kill someone over the course of the day, well, all the better.

From the first moment we see him, sitting still behind his brother, he attracts our attention simply by the manner he stares at the person in front of his brother. His eyes are dead, devoid of compassion and empathy, he is a dangerous killer. Watch how he brings a false sense of security to a doomed young man, dancing to his rap music, before shooting him without a shred of mercy.

The actor does something quite exceptional, radiating danger and genuine menace without saying much. Of course when he speaks we listen, because he speaks so infrequently when he does, one best listen.

Though he has less than thirty minutes of screen time, more than a month after seeing the film, it is him I think about when the film comes to mind. The actor is truly terrifying because we see very early in the film what he is capable of doing, and each time he appears on screen, we tense up. Utterly unpredictable, ferocious and purely evil it is one of the most intensely terrifying performances I have ever experienced.

So where is the buzz?

Do we really have to wait for reviews to celebrate the film and performances? While others are basking in glowing reviews, ever closer to being in the shadow of Oscar, Kaluuya appears forgotten!

I hope not, truly.

Pure evil has never been portrayed as frightening as this.

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