It’s been a little over year since Jordan Peele’s smash hit took the world by storm. On a budget of $4.5 million, the film grossed an astounding $255 million at the worldwide box office. Now it’s nominated for four Academy Awards in what has been a strong awards season and to put it lightly, the nominations are more than just deserving. “Get Out” should easily win the Oscar for Best Picture of the Year.
A huge advantage in discussing this film in comparison to the other nominees is the fact that we’ve had much longer to discuss, analyze, and revisit it. On top of that, Peele specifically designed this movie so that on repeat viewings, the audience will have a different perspective and pick up on subtle hints that add more layers of depth to the narrative. The expert craftsmanship in executing this story without revealing too much for somebody watching it for the first time would be difficult to accomplish from an auteur director who’s been around for years, let alone a debut feature.
The horror genre for a long time hasn’t had the luxury of enjoying the same level of appreciation in the industry and with critics as drama, comedy, action, or adventure films. Thankfully, that has started to change in recent years as horror films were able to enjoy success not only at the box office but garner huge critical acclaim. “Get Out” is a lot more than just a simple horror film and fortunately, people were able to see that. When critics saw the movie for the first time, the main topic of discussion wasn’t the scares or thrills but the themes of racism in America.
More often than not, films that deal with racism do so through the perspective of an extreme such as slavery, segregation, and police brutality. Not to discredit the exceptional films that come out that use those issues to tell meaningful and important stories, but for a white audience member watching a film like “12 Years a Slave” or “Selma” or “Fruitvale Station,” they have an opportunity to watch those films and completely overlook the importance of those stories and think to themselves, “Whew, thank God we’re not like that anymore.” Jordan Peele bravely portrays the African-American experience when dealing with the casual, passive racists of today, the ones that “mean well” but still see people for their color first. He puts a mirror to the faces of the common person to convey the emotions, fears, and adversity that a person of color faces on a daily basis.
In a Best Picture lineup that includes master works such as “Call Me By Your Name,” “The Shape of Water,” and “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” this is one that stands out as being the defining film of 2017. It means something that a film marketed as a horror racial thriller on a small budget was able to speak to the hearts and minds of so many people. It means something that a whole year later, people still talk about the significance of this story. It means something that hundreds of critics included it high up on their best of the year lists. It means something that many awards groups recognize its artistry and excellence. It will mean something if on Sunday night, “Get Out” is named Best Picture at the Academy Awards.
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