Two siblings, OJ (Daniel Kaluuya) and Emerald (Keke Palmer), believe that they have seen a UFO fly around their family’s horse ranch. They are determined to get undeniable proof of the object in order to boost their notoriety in Hollywood once again.
I find Nope hard to write about. It’s a movie that I’m still processing. But I will say it is different from director Jordan Peele’s other films, Get Out and Us. I find Nope to be a bit more muddled as a film, but also more thought-provoking. This is not a typical alien horror film, and that is partly what makes the film so refreshing.
Palmer and Kaluuya have a nice sibling dynamic. They are opposite personalities. OJ is quiet and withdrawn, while Emerald is loud and vivacious. They annoy each other, but you can feel the love underneath that. I believe this film will be the first exposure of Palmer as an adult actress in a leading role for many viewers and she is the standout here. Rounding out the supporting cast is Angel (Brandon Perea), a Fry’s electronics installer who installs the family’s new tech gear and quickly catches on to what they are trying to capture. Ricky ‘Jupe’ Park (Steven Yeun), a child star now theme park rancher, trying to cash in on his previous fame. And Cinematographer Antlers Holst (Michael Wincott) who the siblings enlist to help them capture the perfect shot of the possible UFO.
With this film, Peele is commenting about spectacle and why we as humans crave it, even in instances where the event is violent and horrifying. I thought it was an interesting message, but the ending of the film does not really have a clear cut answer to this conundrum. It could be that there is no real answer to this question of course, but the lack of clarity does feel a bit unsatisfying.
I also believe the editing felt clunky at some parts, particularly when we come back to a flashback at multiple points throughout the film. I believe this was intentional so that the audience can realize the true horror of the incident, but it does not flow as well as the rest of the film and I feel others will similarly be questioning the
With Nope, Peele once again proves to be an ambitious director who is devoted to putting out original stories. Nope is full of great performances, has beautiful cinematography, and is wholly unique. Nope is deeper than its premise and will be sure to spark lots of conversations regarding its themes and plot.
I give Nope a B.