Oscar Preview: Weekend of Mar. 22-24, 2019

We had one film release this past weekend with the potential for Oscar nominations.

Us

A scant two years ago, Jordan Peele entered the Oscar lexicon with his instant horror classic Get Out. He sticks to the horror genre with his second feature as a director, Us.

Starring Lupita Nyong’o, the film follows a family who are beset by a group of dopplegangers and must fight for their lives to survive. Little is known about the plot, but the critics are over the moon about it and it just had one of the biggest debuts of the year and one of horror’s all-time best openings. While the film’s 94% fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes is slightly below Get Out‘s 98% (at MetaCritic, it’s a similar drop from 84 for Get Out to 81 for Us), the new numbers are outstanding.

The big question is now whether Us can replicate the Oscar success of Get Out. Get Out managed only four nominations in 2017, but they included all top categories: Best Picture, Directing, Actor (Daniel Kaluuya), and Original Screenplay taking the Oscar for the latter. If the film can hold on until the end of the year, it could follow a similar push towards Oscar recognition.

Horror has seldom been recognized by the Academy, so getting nominations two films in a row will be a stellar achievement, but an incredibly difficult one. Some have compared Peele to Alfred Hitchcock. Hitchcock was a regular Oscar nominee, but never took home a prize. Peele, on the other hand, already has an Oscar for his screenplay and, unlike Hitchcock, writes his own films, which could give him an upper hand in future runs at the Oscars. Then again, now that he’s been honored, the Academy may think it’s enough and ignore him from here on out. How the critics respond to the film at the end of the year might tell us how Oscar will react.

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