To the great delight of many (and suspicious dismay of some -- looking at you, mystery Academy voters), Get Out collected four Oscar nominations for Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best Director, and Best Actor for Daniel Kaluuya's performance as Chris, the black boyfriend who meets his girlfriend’s white family for the first time in Jordan Peele's social horror-thriller. We all know how this goes by now: the exposition of the family’s eeriness, including their "surprise" yearly gathering of aging white people, turns very dark, revealing a nefarious conspiracy to transfer the consciousness of the decrepit to kidnapped, auctioned off, and brainwashed more able black bodies. A horror film that plucks beats from Rosemary’s Baby, The Stepford Wives, and Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?, the latter half of Key & Peele makes an important, clear-eyed statement on race that was an instant critical and box office hit when it came out last February.
Get Out’s handful of nominations are not to be taken lightly: Peele is only the fifth African-American to earn a best director nomination for an Academy Award, and he's one of three people ever to nab the trifecta of Best Picture-Best Director-Best Screenplay for a directorial debut. It's one of six horror films ever to receive a Best Picture nomination. The film’s February release -- typically a desert for would-be Oscar-nominated films -- would seem to make it an unlikely selection. At the Independent Spirit Awards on Saturday, Peele took home Best Film and Best Director wins. But how did it fare at the Oscars the following night?