Jordan Peele’s sharp horror satire Get Out wasn’t hurt at all by its early 2017 debut as it continues to pick up steam during awards season. After making an unexpected appearance on the American Film Institute’s Top Ten list and rolling through the Gotham, National Board of Review, New York, and Los Angeles Critics Association Awards, Get Out’s momentum hasn’t slowed since the smaller critical markets have started their awards. Boston, Toronto, and San Francisco critics all had some love to give the race-relation riot.
Most of these awards have praised Peele’s script and his freshness on the filmmaking scene, along with the leading performance by Daniel Kaluuya. The Boston Society of Film Critics continued this trend, awarding the film in its Best Actor and Best New Filmmaker categories, while New York Film Critics Online gave it Best Screenplay and Best Debut Director. The Toronto Film Critics Association echoed the latter, and San Francisco’s critics gave the film its screenplay award. Everyone agrees: Get Out has a killer script.
That bodes well for Peele’s Twilight Zone show, but it also bodes well for a growing acceptance of genre in the traditionally stodgy realms of critical cinema appreciation. In previous years, the smart money has almost always been on the slower, more realistic period pieces and dramas to win the prestigious awards like Actor, Director, and Screenplay, while those in more imaginative genres were often pushed aside to Production Design and Special Effects.
With the inimitable Roger Deakins being continually recognized for his cinematography work on Blade Runner 2049 and Guillermo del Toro finding award after award for The Shape of Water’s monstrous love story, Get Out is joined by a stable of genre powerhouses that continue to march toward the Oscars undeterred by expectation.
In fact, even those damned dirty apes seem like they can score this year, as Andy Serkis received his first award for War for the Planet of the Apes from the San Francisco Film Critics Circle. A motion-captured sci-fi performance won over at least two distinguished actors playing Winston Churchill this year, so all bets are off -- unless you’re betting on genre films.