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Making the Case for 'Get Out' at the Academy Awards

Why Jordan Peele's thrilling existential horror deserves to be recognized at the Oscars.

By Sean PatrickPublished 7 years ago 4 min read

Every year there is a movie that audiences and critics take to in a big way and that the Academy dismisses for whatever reason. Movies like Gone Girl, The Dark Knight, or 10 Cloverfield Lane that audiences and critics seem to believe in concert are among the best movies of their given year get ignored by the Academy for being too much of a genre piece, too much of an audience favorite or some other similar nonsense.

This year, sadly, that movie is going to be Get Out. Though audiences and critics adore Jordan Peele’s combination of dark comedy, heavy metaphor and existential horror, the Academy will likely once again dismiss something because it is a genre piece or too popular. Indeed, it can be argued that the Academy should shine its giant spotlight on smaller, little-seen movies as they need more help than a big hit movie but it’s a shame that something as ingenious, timely and entertaining as Get Out won’t get its due.

In fact, I can think of five categories at least where Get Out should be placed and indeed very much belongs in the running for Hollywood’s biggest prizes.

5. Best Original Score

Classical composer Michael Abels was given the unique task of creating music for Jordan Peele’s uncanny horror classic. While others pushed Peele to have a hip hop soundtrack with an urban composer which could then be turned into a hit on its own, Peele knew that was not what he wanted for the film.

Eschewing expectations, Peele wanted a classical music score. When Peele met with composer Michael Abels he asked for something akin to a modern negro spiritual with a twist. Not exactly an easy task but Abels nailed it.

The classical score of Get Out is nearly as compelling on its own as it is in the film. The score is eerie yet lulls you before shocking you with those kinds of violin strikes that seem to strike you right in the heart. The score is perfectly complimentary of the movie which is always a tad unbalanced before finally tipping over into something uncanny and surreal.

4. Best Original Screenplay

Jordan Peele has made the definitive horror movie of this generation. Get Out is socially relevant and purely terrifying, existential yet thrilling. The early dialogue in the film has a wonderful natural quality that shifts to become more stilted and uncomfortable when the scene switches to Connecticut and the horror begins to rise.

Peele’s characters are ingenious; the dark humor is delightful and then, of course, there is the thick metaphors regarding race and identity politics that gives the horror a real bite. This is one of the smartest scripts of the last decade.

3. Best Supporting Actress

I could choose any one of the three women in Get Out and I would have a strong case to make but Betty Gabriel’s Georgina is arguably the scene-stealer of the year, aside from another of Get Out’s stars who we will talk about in a moment. Gabriel’s performance as the uncomfortably odd family maid begins as an oddly comic character but quickly becomes something genuinely menacing.

When the secret of her identity is revealed it’s not a remarkable revelation but a brilliant extension on the character Gabriel builds throughout the film. It’s a performance of wonderful invention and one too easily written off as a stilted horror movie performance. It is a great deal more than that.

2. Best Supporting Actor

Lil Rel Howery is completely hysterical in Get Out. While Rod is undeniably the comic relief of Get Out, he proves his necessity to this movie in every scene he’s in. Howery’s performance reminded me of a similarly dismissed comic performance from my favorite movie of all time, John Goodman in The Big Lebowski.

Both are over the top characters with comic extremes for personalities, but they each find the heart of the character in how much they love the main character they play sidekick too.

Like Walter in Lebowski, Howery’s Rod finds himself in the odd position of having his outlandish ideas proven somewhat correct throughout the movie. In Get Out, that leads Rod to a hero moment with all of the humor and catharsis that the movie needs in the end to stick the landing.

It’s a brilliant comic performance and one that will be completely and very unfortunately overlooked because he’s a comic and not an actor and because Get Out is a horror movie and not a typical Academy drama.

1. Best Picture

I have been waiting all year to find a movie to top the experience of Get Out and thus far it just hasn’t arrived. Though I have a preference for The Big Sick or Split, in terms of my favorite movies of 2017, Get Out has remained in my top 3 movies all year and while it’s still early in the Awards season, a movie is really going to have to blow me away to top the thrilling experience I had seeing Get Out back in January and even my recent re-watch of the film. Yes, Get Out remains just as fascinating the second time you watch it and I will likely watch it again in the future. It’s wildly entertaining and exceptionally well-made. It also happens to be exceptionally timely, Get Out is one of the most exciting and thoughtful movies on the subject of racial identity that we’ve seen since Do the Right Thing, another movie the Academy quite sadly dismissed.


About the Creator

Sean Patrick

Hello, my name is Sean Patrick He/Him, and I am a film critic and podcast host for the I Hate Critics Movie Review Podcast I am a voting member of the Critics Choice Association, the group behind the annual Critics Choice Awards.

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