Get Out challenges award season

Lainey Posted by Lainey at November 17, 2017 17:09:56 November 17, 2017 17:09:56

Should we care about award season when Hollywood’s predator infestation is so far from being exterminated? Is award season trivial? Sure, parts of it. But there are some storylines that are playing out this award season that deserve our attention. Consider Lady Bird, Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut and the acclaim it’s been getting. Lady Bird has performed well at the specialty box office. More and more, the film is becoming a strong contender in several categories. Will the Academy consider Greta for a nomination in the Best Director category though? On her first film? Over 20 directors have been nominated for director Oscars on their first films. They were all men. That’s definitely a storyline worth paying attention to, non? 

And also The Big Sick. Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V Gordon have been working the award circuit for months. There’s no reason why they shouldn’t be considered for a screenplay nomination at the Oscars. The ultimate dream would be to be included among the Best Picture nominees. Imagine that? A romantic comedy featuring a Muslim lead in a Best Picture contender? The Big Sick will most certainly be nominated for a Golden Globe in the comedy/music category. And speaking of the Golden Globes, The Big Sick will likely go head to head with Get Out at the Golden Globes in the Comedy/Musical category. 

Universal submitted Get Out in the category without consulting Jordan Peele. And then the Hollywood Foreign Press Association ultimately decided that that was indeed the category it should be put into it. The rationale for why it was decided that way is because the studio thought that Get Out might have a better chance of winning against the comedies and musicals – films that are perceived to be “lighter” and, therefore, less prestigious. The reason why that’s insulting is because, obviously, if you’ve seen Get Out, it’s not a f-cking comedy. As Jordan told IndieWire: 

“What the movie is about is not funny.”

It’s also insulting because the decision to submit Get Out as a comedy – supposedly a less competitive category – suggests that it can’t compete against the big boys of drama. In response to the resulting outrage about Get Out’s categorisation, this is what Jordan tweeted – and it’s probably one of the most perfect tweets of all time: funny, so f-cking smart, and barbed:

Get Out is one of the most acclaimed films of the year, if not THE most acclaimed film of the year. But it is not the frontrunner for Oscar. The frontrunner for Oscar, right now, is Dunkirk. Dunkirk will be nominated for Best Picture. We’re still not sure, however, whether or not Get Out will get a Best Picture nomination. Because it’s so hard to genre-classify the film. And you know the Academy. You know the Oscars. The Oscars need to be able to label their sh-t. Their favourite label is “drama”. The label they like even better than “drama” is… “war drama”. 

Get Out is a horror movie that’s also a social thriller and a meditation on race. It’s not a Academy-digestible label. This is one of the reasons why Get Out will have to work so much harder than Dunkirk to be part of the Oscar conversation. But Jordan Peele is out there, and has been for months, promoting his film, welcoming analysis of the film, a film that CAME OUT IN FEBRUARY, and is still being discussed, still relevant, challenging Hollywood and the Oscar status quo. This too is a storyline worth your attention this award season. 

Kris Conner/ Getty Images

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