Just when you think Guy is back with Gentlemen and Wrath, he comes and drops this dull turd on world.
Empire of Light 2022
A pretty middling and very Oscar-baity film with Crash-levels of understanding/addressing racial issues. Still the acting carries it (anchored of course by Colman), with a couple of funny and cringe scenes, as well as the always-stunning photography of the Deak-meister general.
Bonus drinking game: watch with closed captions on and drink every time the captions read "sentimental music playing."
Do the Right Thing 1989
Spike's Brooklyn is a melting pot, both literal and figurative, bluntly laying bare all the racial strife of the neighborhood. Different races all trying to get by and contribute to the community. He expertly lays out all the pieces, establishing memorable characters with motivation and depth in limited screentime, and then lets us watch it all unravel in a senseless act of anger and self-destruction. It's a film that is as poignant and disturbing today as it must have been back then; which in fact makes it kind of more depressing. Glad to have finally taken this off my list of shame.
Definitely Peele's most accomplished and deep work to date. Deftly directed by Peele, beautifully shot by Hoyte, creative and immersive sound design/music, and brilliantly-written with such interesting themes working on multiple levels. When Jupe tells Em "Su casa es mi casa," (your house is my house) at first I thought it was a funny reversal joke but, wow, it subtly and perfectly works toward the overall themes of the film too.
Was pretty disappointed with Us, even though it was still enjoyable, but Nope is Peele nearly perfecting his craft and I'm even more excited to see what he comes up with next.