Filmmaker Jordan Peele proved with his debut film Get Out that he was an immensely talented creator, with the film going on to earn a number of prestigious awards nominations, while his second film, Us, also earned praise from critics, though failed to earn as much recognition on the awards circuit, as star Winston Duke notes that the discussions surrounding the film were more important than any awards. The film wasn't completely ignored by awards organizations, with most of the praise being focused on Lupita Nyong'o's dual performances in the film, but the Academy Awards and Golden Globe Awards failed to recognize it in any capacity.
"I have my own interpretation, and that interpretation is why I did the movie. I wanted to be a part of these discussions. We were successful," Duke shared with The Hollywood Reporter about the meaning behind the film's themes. "That's why I don't worry about the awards or if it was nominated. I know the intention that I went into it with and what we expressed when we started the piece — and we accomplished it. We challenged people's beliefs, how they see themselves and how much they question their position in privilege, commercialism and all of that stuff. We forced people to have an introspective view."
He added, "That was the intention, and it was very, very successful. It was also successful for the genre of the movie. So, that's my award, and we did get a number of great awards throughout the season. So, I'm incredibly happy and proud of the piece."
In the film, a mother (Nyong'o) and a father (Duke) take their kids to their beach house expecting to unplug and unwind with friends (including Emmy winner Elisabeth Moss from TV series The Handmaid's Tale). But as night descends, their serenity turns to tension and chaos when some shocking visitors arrive uninvited.
With Get Out, Peele masterfully blended horror and sci-fi premises with themes of racism to create a riveting experience, and while Us was a more straightforward tale of terror featuring doppelgängers attempting to take over the surface world, there were themes of one's duality and inner aggression that were explored, in addition to the notion of unseen violence hiding within those you had once trusted.
Jordan Peele is currently developing Season Two of The Twilight Zone.
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