Release year: 2017
Director: Jordan Peele
Screenwriter: Jordan Peele
Starring: Daniel Kaluuya, Allsion Williams, Catherine Keener, Bradley Whitford, Marcus Henderson, LilRel Howery, Betty Gabriel, Lakeith Stanfield
Ratings: 4 Oscar nominations: Best Picture, Best Actor (Daniel Kaluuya), Best Director, Best Original Screenplay. 2 Golden Globe nominations: Best Picture Comedy/Musical, Best Actor (Daniel Kaluuya).
As African-American Chris (Kaluuya) is about the meet the parents of his white girlfriend Rose (Williams) for the first time, he is nervous of whether or not they can accept their daughter dating a man of another colour. But soon after arriving at their house, Chris discovers the race issues is his least problem, as there are clearly something very wrong at the household.
Peele’s directorial debut is much like a modern day Stepford Wives. From the moment Chris arrives at the Armitage household, you get a strong sense there is something very, very wrong at the place. But you don’t know what and it is hard to point your finger at exactly what gives you that feeling. The same way we sense poor Chris has it. Because whenever he tries to explain his uncomfortability to her, his reasons seems paranoid and silly. But are they? Peele cleverly lets you wonder along with Christ, as he slowly builds up an incredible tension that lasts until the very end. It is much helped by great performances, not at least Kaluuya’s (Black Panther, 2018), who is clearly one we will be seeing much more of. He portrays Chris as kind and clever while his reactions to the happenings around him rings true. But also Keener (Capote, 2005) and Whitford (Saving Mr. Banks, 2012) are forced to deliver, if this whole is-something-wrong-or-not shall be pulled of, and they do more than just so. A fresh breath in all the tension is a warm and humorous performance by Howery (Bird Box), in what can must be the absolutely only reason whatsoever that the movie received a Golden Globe nomination in the musical/comedy category! For despite the fact that Howery gets a few giggles, this is very much in the horror thriller category and a good one as well. It will be very interesting indeed to see what Peele gives us next!
Daniel Kaluuya was given the lead role on the spot after nailing his audition. Director Jordan Peele said Kaluuya did about five takes of a key scene, in which his character needs to cry, and each was so perfect that the single tear came down at the exact same time for each take.
Picture copyrights: UIP