After what has been an undoubtedly fantastic year in television and film, the 2020 awards season is finally kicking off in Hollywood, starting with today’s Golden Globes announcements. Unfortunately, some of the year’s best titles, silver or small screen, were shockingly excluded from the all-star lineup, including the horror film Us. But have no fear — the Jordan Peele masterpiece will be getting the flowers it deserves after all.
In Us, we encountered a terrifying story in which the world’s citizens were stalked and brutally murdered by their underground doppelgängers, called Tethers. Lupita Nyong’o brilliantly played both the film’s protagonist Adelaide and her bloodthirsty Tether, Red, and her performance left audience in abject terror. (Personally, I was legitimately unable to sleep for days after watching Us in theatres... I had to unfollow Nyong’o on Instagram.)
The African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA) crowned Us the winner in this year’s Best Film category. Us also took home the gold for the Best Director, and its Best Actress Lupita Nyong’o took the organization’s breath away for her dual roles in the March blockbuster.
"Jordan Peele continued to raise the bar in horror specifically and film overall” said AAFCA president/co-founder Gil Robertson. “With Us, he once again upended the horror genre. His centring of a black nuclear family determined to survive in a complex storyline in a genre where black family units have historically been unseen is extraordinary."
"He continues to push previously set boundaries with bold storylines that bring a refreshing perspective to cinema overall and the genre specifically," Robertson's statement continued. "The film’s $255 million global gross is yet another example that inclusive filmmaking resonates big at the box office and it also resonated critically with our members who awarded the film with our highest honours.”
Nyong'o took to Twitter to share her excitement over the AAFCA honour, tweeting a precious behind-the-scenes picture of herself and her co-star Winston Duke on the sandy beaches of the Santa Cruz beach boardwalk . "Feelin' that love for #UsMovie!" she tweeted. "Thank you, @theaafca!!"
Along with other works helmed by people of colour (Taika Waititi’s Jojo Rabbit), women (Greta Gerwig’s Little Women) and people who identify as both (Ava DuVernay’s When They See Us), Us has been largely ignored in the mainstream awards conversation so far, despite totally dominating the cultural landscape when it was released in the spring. Still, the AAFCA's celebration of the horror film — and Nyong'o's performance in particular — just goes to show that even though it's unfortunate women and and people of colour have to honour themselves, truly good art will always get the recognition that it deserves.