On March 24, 2018 the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) will host the 90th Academy Awards ceremony, more commonly known as The Oscars. This year’s nominees are spread across a wide array of genres, talents, and tastes, however the most talked about nominations come from the hit 2017 film “Get Out.” Nominated for best picture, best director/best original screenplay by Jordan Peele, and best actor with Daniel Kaluuya, “Get Out” is a horror thriller that incapsulated both physical and psychological trauma on its screen. Daniel plays Chris, a young African American man in his twenties living in New York while dating a white woman named Rose. When he goes to meet Rose’s family, Chris begins to notice strange behavior, and reveals a plot where wealthy white people’s brains are inserted into black bodies in order to gain their talents and physical attributes.
These nominations sparked controversy for many reasons. Firstly, the Academy Awards rarely acknowledge the horror genre, with the most notable film gaining an Oscar being “The Sixth Sense” in 1999. “Get Out”’s name on the ballet opens the door for a larger audience to watch the program and cast their nominations. Perhaps more important, however, is the subject matter “Get Out” presents. Focusing heavily on race relations and stereotypes found in American society today, the film sparked both controversy and praise when it first hit the box office in 2017. The plot of the movie revolves around racial stereotypes not commonly addressed but incredibly prevalent, such as style and ways of living; the film suggests many white persons believe it to be “cool” to be black, and that is why they take such extreme measures to be like them. While obviously overdone in a cinematic way, “Get Out” managed to encapsulate the very real horror many American Americans face in dealing with people who may not consider themselves to be racist, but rather do not have sensitivity to what they may be saying to those of a different race.
We have already seen media being used to empower and educate this year through the #MeToo movement at ceremonies such as the Grammys, however with this year’s Oscar nominations and the release of new media platforms, including the 2018 released “Black Panther”, may prove to introduce another movement for change among racial acceptance and prevalence in mainstream cinema. “Get Out” is an impactful and thoughtful film; it reintroduced the horror genre as being one with the capabilities of complexity and creativity, while also providing social commentary on touchy yet prevalent issues found within our country today. Voting runs from February 20-27, and hopefully we will see this incredible film earn the praise it deserves.