It's hard to pinpoint what exactly makes something a classic. Longevity and cultural impact are definitely factors. Reception? Uniqueness? Quality? Maybe, but quality is subjective, so it's kind of hard to tell.
What is known, however, is that Jordan Peele's Get Out has checked off many of those boxes.
"The sunken place" has become part of everyday vernacular. The "get out" command has taken on a new connotation within the realms of "wokeness." College courses have been built solely around the film. And now, what Peele proclaims a "social thriller"/documentary has four Oscar nominations, including Best Picture.
While the Academy has notoriously overlooked great talent throughout its history, it's good to know that it recognizes just how trailblazing Get Out is. Peele, nominated for "Best Director," made his name as a mainstay on Comedy Central. Key and Peele, a sketch comedy, often highlighted the irony of everyday situations. Yet with his first film, the 38-year-old beautifully showcases his versatility.
With Get Out — which Peele also wrote — he doubles down on irony in the hyperbolic examination of the simultaneous abhorrence and fascination some white people have of black people (which is most likely the reason he referred to it as a documentary).
The film dabbles in comedy, mostly executed by comedian Lil Rel Howery. However, there are stronger, more noticeable incorporations of both horror and thrill. There are evident, unapologetic criticisms of the racist society we live in. There are eerily convincing performances by the cast. All these aspects combine to make one of the most complex and chilling displays in modern cinema.
The movie had a $4.5 million budget and raked in more than $250 million at the box office, which is telling. It speaks to just how well the film's themes and execution connect to its many different audiences. It confronts viewers' consciousness, forcing them to dwell on how races interact and perceive each other. It may even be educational for those who have yet to confront issues of race in this country (perhaps another reason for its label as a documentary).
Get Out has all that one would want in a movie. Its four Oscar nominations, at the very least, add to its distinction. So while longevity has yet to be determined — since the film has been out for less than a year — the "social thriller" tackles so much in so little time, it's hard to fathom it'd be lost in history.