Skip to main content

"Us" Is a Really Weird Movie, And Isn't That Great?: Review

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 Outmaking 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!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

"My Mind Turns Your Life Into Folklore": Why Taylor Swift's "Gold Rush" Is a Song About Songwriting

"My mind turns your life into folklore." That line, from the song "Gold Rush," is the only time the word "folklore" is spoken on either of Taylor Swift's 2020 records, Folklore and Evermore , the latter of which is where the song appears. The presence of the line indicates that "Gold Rush" is a pivotal song not only in Swift's lockdown duology, but in her maturation as a songwriter.  Swift's early albums often drew heavily from her own experiences, with fans and the media scouring her lyrics for clues as to which ex-boyfriend her numerous breakup songs referred. Her tumultuous dating life made as many headlines as her music, in part because it informed so much of the music. The discourse was often ridiculous and reductive, and thankfully, that period of her career is over (Swift has been in a relationship with the actor Joe Alwyn since 2016).  Both of her 2020 albums have their fair share of autobiographical songs, but they also see

A Great Show Rushes to its End: "Mom" Finale Review

It's never easy to end a TV show, especially a long-running, beloved show like Mom . "My Kinda People and the Big To-Do," the last episode of Mom that aired May 13 on CBS, was a good episode. It was maybe even a great episode. But was it a satisfying series conclusion? No, not really. But we're getting ahead of ourselves. Before we talk about what didn't happen in the episode, let's talk about what did happen.  The episode begins at an AA meeting, as many episodes have. The ladies - Bonnie, Tammy, Jill, Marjorie, & Wendy - all share. They're all happy and in good places in their lives, much to the annoyance of newcomer Shannon (played by Melanie Lynskey, independent film mainstay whose sitcom credits include Chuck Lorre's Two and a Half Men ). Bonnie wants to help Shannon, as she had been helped by others when she too was new to the program, and even chases Shannon in the rain when she leaves the meeting. Later in the episode, we see Shannon'

Paramount+ Review and Breakdown

  Paramount+, the rebranded CBS All Access streaming service from ViacomCBS, launched today. It got me thinking about this photograph. Are you familiar with it?  If you aren't, perhaps you're wondering why Tom Cruise is standing next to Charlton Heston who is standing next to Penny Marshall who is standing to Bob Hope who is standing next to Victor Mature who is standing next to *squints* Elizabeth McGovern who is standing next to Robert De Niro. The whole photo is full of weird combinations like that - Shelley Long next to Jimmy Stewart, Molly Ringwald next to Dorothy Lamour, Gregory Peck next to Debra Winger. This photograph was taken in celebration of Paramount's 75th anniversary in 1987. But you're forgiven if you didn't guess that, because who looks at all these people and thinks immediately that what they all have in common was working for Paramount at one point? Certainly not I.  And therein lies the problem with Paramount+'s marketing strategy. Paramoun