Thoughts on… Get Out (2017)

Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) and his girlfriend Rose (Allison Williams) go upstate to visit her parents for the weekend. At first, Chris reads the family’s overly accommodating behavior as nervous attempts to deal with their daughter’s interracial relationship, but as the weekend progresses, a series of increasingly disturbing discoveries lead him to a truth that he never could have imagined. (source)

Get Out (2017, dir. Jordan Peele) is one of nine films nominated for Best Picture at this year’s Academy Awards. Unfortunately identified as a comedy at the Golden Globes (is racism funny?), it is arguably one of the most socially and politically relevant films of all the films nominated for Oscars. Instead of writing a big review of the film, I’ll share with you some brief thoughts on it.

Here’s a selection of my thoughts on Get Out:

  1. Every time I hear the title Get Out, I can’t help but burst into the chorus of this classic song by JoJo from 2004. Such an empowering song for a generation of young women growing up in the mid-00s, but I digress.
  2. Before even thinking about the story and its themes – this is a visually stunning, gorgeously directed film with absolutely beautiful cinematography by Toby Oliver. The use of colour is rich and luscious, and the set design is particularly visually appealing.
  3. There are brilliant performances by Daniel Kaluuya (who is up for an Oscar for Best Actor, and rightfully so) and Allison Williams, with pretty hilarious backup from Lel Rel Howery. Creepy performances from Catherine Keener and Bradley Whitford are also highlights.
  4. Above all, Get Out plays host to some of the most awkward, uncomfortable moments because it puts that kind of horrendous passive aggressive racism directly on display. As we all know, racism exists in many forms, and it’s not always the blatant, obvious kind.
  5. Sometimes, the more subtle kinds of racism or other kinds of prejudices can be even more creepy and insidious because it makes one doubt or second guess their own perception of what is going on socially, and wonder whether one is being overly sensitive, which further perpetuates the problem and allows it to flourish.
  6. This is what Get Out excels at creating – a tense atmosphere of subtle racism and prejudice during a political climate when noting these prejudices, whether they are overt or subtle, is absolutely critical.
  7. Not to mention, there’s an excellent twist that caught me by surprise, which is always great. At some moments, you just don’t know where the film will go. It’s not predictable or derivative, but its own story. I don’t think I’ve seen much like it before.
  8. Unfortunately, I doubt this will win the Oscar, even though it probably should. Get Out is fantastic.

4.5/5
Watch the trailer here (mild spoilers).

13 comments

  1. Just being nominated in so many categories is a tribute to how much people loved this – social commentary wrapped up in a great thriller

    1. Absolutely! A stellar film all around.

  2. I seem to be pretty alone on this one. I thought it was frustratingly mediocre. I loved the ideas it explores but there are huge holes in the logic that I couldn’t shake. And I felt Peele’s direction gets pretty messy at the end even tipping his hand before his big reveal. Kaluuya’s performance was also a mix for me. The first half featured him dry and lifeless. Then the second half he’s great. But as I said, I’m pretty much alone here. 😥

    1. Paragraph Film Reviews · · Reply

      Here here! I enjoyed it for what it was, but taking it as a horror/thiller (or musical comedy!), I thought it was middle of the road. I was far more impressed with films like It Follows, Autopsy of Jane Doe, The Wailing, Train to Busan.

      I understand that’s it’s a culturally significant film, but that doesn’t mean it’s a great film!

      1. I haven’t seen those horror/thrillers you listed, looks like I need to! Can’t believe I never got around to seeing It Follows, unforgivable.

        1. Paragraph Film Reviews · · Reply

          It Follows is dirt cheap now (couple of quid for the DVD) and would be an interesting watch & comparison so soon after seeing Get Out.

          As with Lady Bird this year, I think that if you see them knowing nothing you’d be pleasantly surprised, but all of the hype raises expectations to impossibly high levels.

    2. Your comment reminds me of how I felt about American Hustle back in the day (which I HATED, caps lock necessary), with all the awards it received. But it’s all good! Variety of film opinions is the spice of life.

    3. Keith, you forgot me! lol You are not alone! I don’t know what happened at the end of this film, but it was worse than even mediocre for me. Peele had different versions of the ending, and, oh my, he got so confused which one to choose. It was very amateur.

  3. I’m right with you on this one. Fantastic movie. Even if it doesn’t win I’m glad it got some Oscar love despite being a horror flick and directed by an African-American known for comedy. It’s like a cinematic unicorn.

    1. I do love a good cinematic unicorn!

  4. LOL you are not the only one who thinks of the JoJo song when hearing this title xD Glad you enjoyed this one so much, it was quite a good one!

    1. Haha! Got to love Jojo, what a classic.

  5. I enjoyed reading your thoughts, but subtle racism and prejudice? Whatever Get Out created it was definitely not something subtle. Subtlety may have come with their remaking of some The Stepford Wives and Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner concepts, but the last 30 minutes of this film are as overt as any film can present and, if anything, the director chose to go with full, obvious, sometimes too much in your face slashing, rather than some fascinating hidden drama or racism/prejudice exposure.
    I am with you on the colour, richness and great cinematography. It was really excellent.

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