Columnists, Columns, Opinion

No Sugar, No Cream: My comfort zone is ‘Get Out’

My interest in award shows was ruined at the tender age of 10 by the 2009 VMAs. I’d watched the majority of the show and was waiting for the Video of the Year award. My mother sent me to bed right before my favorite rapper at the time, Kanye West, drunkenly ascended the stage and took the microphone from Taylor Swift to praise Beyoncé — I still half-support this act. My parents yelled across the hall that I needed to get out of bed to come see what he’d done, but by the time I got up, I’d missed everything. From then on, I decided to only watch highlights of award shows the day after they happen.

When a 2016 Oscars boycott ensued due to a lack of representation in nominees, I thought of myself as a trendsetter — someone completely ahead of the curve. Despite my previous opposition to award shows, I decided to act completely out of character and watch it that year. I was bored to death and reverted to my better judgment that watching the show would not actually waste my barely valuable time. In reality, the awards rarely offer the representation for Black people that I want to see — which is only Black people in all categories. Even the BET Awards last year managed to offer the greatest amount of time in the most interesting part of its show to Eminem.

In the 365 days of 2017, I went to the theater a total of four times. I don’t believe in them, and I am utterly repulsed by the lack of morals of an establishment that would charge $50 for a ticket and large popcorn, but maybe I’m in the wrong for that. I only saw Jordan Peele’s “Get Out” and Malcolm D. Lee’s “Girls Trip” each twice, and they were phenomenal both times. If they weren’t, I’d still lie and say they were. Taking into account that my greatest joys in life are cheese and supporting Black people, and that both movies featured Black directors and leads, I felt they were worth leaving my house and spending money on.

I don’t watch horror films or go to haunted houses. I don’t believe in paying to be scared. But at the time “Get Out” was released, it had a 100 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, so I forced myself to watch it. It was one of the best decisions I made last year. That’s why I was both surprised and upset that “Get Out” was nominated for just one Golden Globe, which was nothing less than insulting to the production and general premise of the film. (It didn’t win the award.) Even more insulting than how few nominations it received was the fact that it was nominated as a comedy picture. It was never even marketed as a comedy. If anything, that nomination displayed how little the movie was being taken seriously by those who probably should’ve been watching for the message.

Luckily, award shows have a second chance to do right by the movie. Oscar nominations were announced this week. Unfortunately, “Black Panther,” which won’t be released until Feb. 16,  wasn’t nominated for an Oscar because of its trailer. (I’ve been told that that isn’t how films are chosen — it’s time to change that.) Fortunately, “Get Out” was nominated for four Oscars — Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay. And while I posses very limited knowledge of the art of film, I think it deserves all of them.

There are many reasons I believe that “Get Out” deserves to win every Academy Award that it’s been nominated for — if not every award category there is. It’s a hilarious social thriller that examines race relations through both comedy and horror. It’s the first movie Jordan Peele has directed and he has already convinced me that he’s a creative genius. It’s deeply allegorical and demands several viewings to understand much of what’s going on. Simply put, it is a thoroughly enjoyable movie. I’ve even decided that I’m watching the Academy Awards this year, just to see if how many awards it wins, because in the wise words of Issa Rae, “I’m rooting for everybody Black.”

 

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