I recorded a discussion a couple of hours ago with Jordan Ruimy. 78 minutes. Jordan’s insect anntennae are telling him that Jordan Peele‘s Get Out will pull off “the upset to end all upsets” when it comes to the Best Picture Oscar. I say “nah.” Peele’s only real shot is possibly winning Best Original Screenplay, despite most oddsmakers betting that Martin McDonagh‘s Three Billboards has this award in the bag.
But if Get Out wins…well, there will no joy in HE Mudville, I can tell you that. There will be, in fact, a great weeping and pulling of hair and refrigerator-punching…a great bellowing howl that will stand up to the legendary wailings of John Lennon during his primal scream period. If this happens I’m going to tap something out for the column but I’ll also record some thoughts verbally and post the mp3 as a form of post-traumatic therapy.
All I know is that apart from the sentimental embarassments (Chicago, The King’s Speech, The Artist, The Greatest Show on Earth, Driving Miss Daisy, Around The World in 80 Days), the idea behind any Best Picture selection is to somehow self-define, to capture cultural echoes, to say “this is a piece of who and what we are right now…not a profound summary of our contadictory drives and longings, but at least a partial reflection of same.”
This spotty, imperfect but occasionally honorable tradition will come under question if Peele’s film, a “trite get-whitey movie…a mixture of Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner and Meet The Fockers with B-level horror” (per Harmin’ Armond), takes the big prize.
If an emissary from the future had pulled me aside as I walked out of a Get Out screening at the Pacific Grove on 2.24.17 and said, “Jeff, you don’t know me from Adam and you obviously don’t have to trust me, but I’m telling you that a year from now Get Out is going to be a leading Best Picture contender, and may even win come March 4th, 2018″…if someone had looked me in the eye and said that in all sincerity I would have said “no offense, brah, but I really, really don’t think so.”
Director friend: “How the fuck will Get Out win Best Picture and nothing else? That’s insane. Or if it does what Spotlight did and wins Script/Picture, but still that’s sheer insanity.”
From my original review: “Deserves points for blending racial satire with a current of Stepford Wives-like horror, and particularly for the low-key restraint that Peele deals during the first 45 minutes or so. But his take on Obama-era relationships between upscale blacks and whites is easy and specious. Plus I was seriously disappointed by the standard-issue blood-and-brutality chops during the last half-hour, not to mention Peele’s complete indifference to logic and consequences at the final fade-out.”
Again, the mp3.