I have now seen four of the nine movies nominated for Best Picture this year:
- Get Out
- Lady Bird
- Call Me by Your Name
- The Shape of Water
So, obviously, I am totally qualified to make my Oscars prediction. My prediction for Best Picture is Get Out.
Yep. Get Out.
Even over The Shape of Water with its 13 nominations and its status as the critic’s favorite to beat. Even though I am all about the story itself—misfit, mismatched, shouldn’t happen, fairy tale love story—all about it. I just don’t think it was a good enough execution of that to win over Get Out. And oh, lord, does Guillermo del Toro love his prolonged—and I do mean p-r-o-longed—mutilation of body parts scenes. I mean, come on. Enough, already.
Back to Get Out.
I’ve seen it twice and thoroughly enjoyed it both times. I am still analyzing and having ah-ha moments over the symbolic references and connecting all the dots. Like how the title operates on at least three different levels: as an utterance in the movie that is a crucial plot turning point; as a reference to the Eddie Murphy routine about how if he were in a haunted house he’d get the fuck out; and as a statement of how in this movie the fate of the black people is turned on its head.
Actor Daniel Kaluuya’s sublime performance as Chris, with his slow burn from keeping his cool in the face of ever-increasing weirdness (because that’s normal life for him as a black man), to visceral terror and primal survival mode is so enjoyable and relatable and too easy to underrate. Chris’ character wound was woven, to great effect, for and against him throughout the script. There is an exultant power in the ways Chris used objects that symbolized oppression of African-Americans to fight against his own oppressors.
The skill and effectiveness of the storytelling in this movie is demonstrated by how quickly, almost instantaneously, it became recognizable as a part of our cultural dialogue. Yet it also has a broad appeal as just a great horror movie, evidenced by my white, Walking Dead-loving, IT co-worker going around the office telling everybody they needed to see Get Out because it was so good.
Then there are all those memes. One of the most notorious being the “No, no, no” scene.
Here’s what I have to say about the “No, no, no” scene. Every time I see it I am stunned by how directly it evokes a performance by Maya Angelou of “We Wear the Mask.”
Watch it below.
Now, watch the “No, no, no” scene.
I know, right?
So tonight I’m either going to be pumping my fist in the air and whooping like a fool because Get Out won, or I’m going to be sinking into my seat in disappointment and muttering “That is some bullshit right there,” because it didn’t.
Oh, the suspense.