The 2018 Oscar nominations are here, and if you’ve been paying attention to award season for the past few years, then you probably could have predicted which films and actors would receive nods. Call Me By Your Name, The Shape of Water and Lady Bird were among the films that dominated the biggest categories. In other words, a bunch of movies starring white people, directed by white people, and about white people problems make up the majority of the nominee pool. Breaking up this year’s monotony of white people is a fish lover (from The Shape of Water) and Jordan Peele. Get Out is getting the recognition it deserves after several notable snubs during this award season. The film is nominated for Best Picture, and Peele is up for Best Director and Original Screenplay. The Hollywood Reporter has noted that he is only the third person to ever hit this trifecta with his directorial debut, and the only black person to do so. And honestly, he deserves to win them all because Get Out was a groundbreaking project... and because it’s black AF.
Right up there with “You got McDonald’s money” and “I ain’t one of your lil friends” is another black household saying that stings in its delivery: “You have to be twice as good to get half of what white people get.” This is an African-American proverb that I hold to be true. And under this rhetoric, it means that by default, Get Out is technically better than all of its white contenders. My logic is supported by some pretty sound evidence.
Daniel Kaluuya is up for Best Actor thanks to his now iconic cry face, but honestly there were so many other captivating performances that haven’t even been acknowledged. Betty Gabriel, who played the suspiciously domesticated housekeeper Georgina was absolutely snubbed for Best Supporting Actress. I’m sorry, but that single scene where she repeated “No. No. No. No. No.” while crying and smiling at the same time was one of the best pieces of acting in 2017. Lakeith Stanfield was also an underrated force in the movie.
But onscreen greatness aside, there is no denying that Peele updated the entire horror genre while also shifting the public perception of cultural appropriation, liberal racism, and the dangerous complicity of white women in all of it. The “sunken place” gives language to the ways in which black people succumb to influence of white supremacy, both willingly and unwillingly. We have been able to call out this cultural phenomenon we already know has existed years before Get Out. And Stanfield, possessed and decked out in his Sunday best, has become the expressive icon for all the ways people of colour feel like we are not allowed to be ourselves — whether it be in front of our coworker, Facebook friends, or the police.
Get Out wasn’t just a movie. It was a movement. It is precisely because of its callout of racism and its shout-out to black culture that it deserves all of these awards. I don’t know about you, but this trumps fish fucking, as fascinating as it may be. Obviously, I’m rooting for everybody black, especially when one of them could possibly be the first black director to take home the highest award in his field. But that doesn’t negate the fact that Peele created a masterpiece. No matter what the Academy has to say about it, I have nothing but respect for MY best film, director, and original screenplay.