Some Older Oscar Voters Haven’t Even Seen ‘Get Out’ Because It’s ‘Not an Oscar Film’
Get Out was one of the best — and most important — films of 2017, and although it was near-universally adored, most assumed it would never land an Oscar nod. The Academy isn’t exactly known for being “woke,” and they certainly don’t take horror very seriously. (Not counting Black Swan, the last horror film to receive a nod was The Silence of the Lambs.) So when Jordan Peele’s race-driven social thriller landed a nomination, it was a huge, but pleasant, surprise. Maybe the Academy’s diverse group of new voters had made a difference. Unfortunately, we may have spoken too soon.
Vulture spoke with a diverse mix of 14 new voters from various branches of the Academy to gauge how their inclusion is — or isn’t — changing the landscape of the Oscars. In recent years, the organization has sought to expand and diversify its voting body, supplanting the usual assortment of older white dudes with more women, people of color, and younger folks. That might account for why movies like The Shape of Water (a fantasy-romance-horror film about a mute woman who falls in love with a fish man) and Get Out (a socially conscious horror thriller) wound up on the list of Best Picture nominees.
While the former has emerged as a frontrunner in recent months, the odds of the latter taking home a statue on Sunday night aren’t exactly high — at least according to one anonymous young Academy member, who reveals that some older voters haven’t even seen Get Out:
I had multiple conversations with longtime Academy members who were like, ‘That was not an Oscar film.’ And I’m like, ‘That’s bullshit. Watch it.’ Honestly, a few of them had not even seen it and they were saying it, so dispelling that kind of thing has been super important.
Another new voter emphasized that Jordan Peele’s directorial debut, though “brilliant,” has all the makings of a movie that would not be nominated for an Oscar:
I think ‘Get Out’ is a movie that we wouldn’t have necessarily thought of as an Academy movie two years ago. It doesn’t really fall into any of the boxes that we think these movies do. It came out in February, and that’s almost never worked for the Academy … it actually is provocative. It questions everything. It’s brilliant.
And yet, Get Out was nominated for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay — despite the allegation that several older members have refused to watch it at all. The fact that Get Out was even nominated for an Oscar — let alone multiple Oscars — feels like a minor miracle, and though we’re not exactly holding our breath, there’s still hope that this new generation of Academy voters will deliver at least one of those statues to Peele come Sunday night.
Right now, it seems more probable that the other unlikely nominee (The Shape of Water) or the other film that explores social issues (Three Billboards) will take home Best Picture this year.