I wish I knew how to talk about Us in a way that makes it clear that I love the aspiration but the execution was both confusing and intriguing. I tried to do that here, but I’m not sure it worked. If you’ve seen the film, I’m curious to hear what you think.
Horror is not really my jam — I believe being a Black woman in America is scary enough, TYSVM — but when I saw “Get Out” in Harlem, the folks on either side of me were screaming at the main characters and cracking up in the right parts and groaning when the white father mentions his liberal bonafides a little too pointedly. The feeling in the theater was, “This is so good this is so good this is a movie for us.” And the cheering that commenced at the end was phenomenal, unforgettable. We felt not just that we had been vindicated, vicariously, of course, through the main character, but that we all knew a woman or a story about a woman, about a family, like “Get Out”’s chief villain and the side pieces too.
OK, back to “Us.”
A young Adelaide Wilson wanders off from her parents into a house of mirrors off the Santa Cruz boardwalk in 1986. What she discovers in this creepy place is a reflection of herself that turns out to be a hostile doppelganger, which will turn out to be not just her own problem as we find her, present day, returning to a summer home with her husband, the adorably clueless Gabe (Winston Duke), and their two children, a boy, Jason, and a girl, Zora.
They seem to have everything — they are beautiful, they are talented, and they are just regular Americans. The biggest challenge the Wilson family seems to have at first is that Gabe gets a new boat (true story: it’s like, a dinghy) and he can’t seem to figure out the engine situation. Things get weird again when they end up back on the same beach in Santa Cruz where Adelaide first encountered her evil look-a-like.
All of us have some nostalgia for parts of the past that also have painful trauma that keep us stuck in a painful pattern of some sort that it feels like we can’t rewrite. Creed II helps us ask ourselves if we are really fighting to write a new story or if we like the old one better. In this way, it’s deeply satisfying because it evokes memory and tradition while also keeping an eye on the future.
Boxing, after all, is a fight against another person, but before that, it’s a battle with your heart and mind for the soul, for the self to be whole, to be free.
I took myself to a matinee Friday to see “Widows” because I love all things Viola Davis. I was expecting something along the lines of “Oceans 8” but, like, elegant. And “Widows” is something more complex. Not in a bad way. It’s good. It’s just different. Quiet. Intense.
If you’re going to see the movie, I ask that you bookmark my review on Medium and feel free to disagree with me vehemently (but respectfully) there or here. Curious to know what fellow movie lovers think or will say.