Film Review: Us
There's a lot to be said about the new movie Us. Don't worry, I won't spoil anything about the plot, all you need to know is that it's a horror movie about a family who encounters it's doppelgängers. Us, Jordan Peele's follow-up to Get Out, is wacky and wild and sure to be polarizing.
It has been five full years since Lupita Nyong'o won an Oscar and this is basically her first leading role in a movie. I find few things more frustrating than when Hollywood fails to capitalize on exciting talent. But thank god for Jordan Peele, who has given Nyong'o a doozy of a role, or double role rather, as the actors also play their doppelgängers. She inhabits the two characters, one a protective mother and the other a crazed killer, by changing her movements in ways that are strangely complimentary. It's thrilling to watch. Nyong'o's screen presence has a commanding elegance that recalls the best of Old Hollywood stars. I'm so glad an interesting filmmaker has decided to put it to good use.
That filmmaker has created an entire world of bizarre and captivating images. Influences from the likes of Kubrick can readily be found, but it all comes together in a way that feels like we are watching Peele's singular vision. While the visuals are top-notch, the screenplay isn't quite as cohesive. It suffers occasionally from having too much to say, leaving some ideas unfortunately unexamined. Also, aside from the chilling sequence when the doppelgängers first arrive, I didn't find it to be that scary.
Peele has stated that he deliberately made the film to be open to multiple interpretations, unlike Get Out, making a one-to-one analogy difficult. But to me, it is clearly a movie about the class divide. It's about the responsibilities that go along with being part of a community (for which the central family stands in as an only somewhat apt metaphor) and what it means to choose helping yourself over helping everyone. I'm sure different people will have different takeaways from the film's messaging, but that's what was running through my mind while I was watching Us.
What did YOU think of Us? Leave a comment below! Thanks for reading!