Indiewire‘s Anne Thompson has questioned an Academy-member friend (i.e., an older liberal-minded white woman) about her Oscar preferences. She’s not that bright or hip, this woman, but she likes what she likes. For those who weren’t paying attention six or seven weeks ago, here are two Hollywood Elsewhere interviews — #1 and #2 — along similar lines.
Quote #1: “I don’t really understand the preferential ballot. But I prefer it when there are fewer choices. If there are too many choices, it waters everything down. Plus there are rarely more than five movies I really like in a year (not including foreign films).”
Wells reaction: This woman sounds quite lazy. Too many Best Picture nominees dilutes the field? Every year I compile a list of 15 or 20 films that I’ve categorized as excellent, very good or at least commendable, and she rarely likes more than five? This is a woman who feels overwhelmed by life, and who likes to nap in the late afternoons.”
Quote #2: “I had an odd experience with Darkest Hour. I enjoyed it while I was watching it, but afterwards, when I found out the subway sequence was totally invented, it diminished the whole movie for me.”
Wells reaction: What difference does it make if a scene has been invented or not? If it works, it works. I am among those who feel that the subway scene, imagined as it is, is hands down the most rousing and emotionally affecting scene in Darkest Hour. Without question. This woman doesn’t have to agree with me, of course, but to say it didn’t work for her after she discovered it was made up? What an idiot.”
Quote #3: “Three Billboards is dark and funny with unexpected twists in the plot. Get Out is a close second. Very original, funny and scary. Shape of Water would be okay by me.”
Wells reaction: I don’t expect this woman to understand that Get Out is analogous to Don Siegel‘s Invasion of the Bady Snatchers (’56), but let’s imagine she’s aware of the alleged parallels and that both used horror-satire to make points about the cultures from whence they came.
You can choose any Body Snatchers interpretation, but the most popular is that the seed pods are metaphors for creeping Eisenhower-era conformity and the bland leading the bland. That was real — the ’50s were an era of mass conformity, tidy whitebread lifestyles and men going off to work in their gray-flannel suits.
But what is real about Get Out, which says that even the most liberal, Obama-supporting lefties are racist fiends who are looking to enslave or otherwise control people of color? Jordan Peele is saying that whites are malevolent regardless of how they act, whom they vote for or the beliefs they claim to support.