In Don’t Look Up a young scientist (Jennifer Lawrence) discovers a comet heading directly towards Earth. It is estimated to hit in six months. With that horrifying knowledge, suddenly she and her professor (Leonardo DiCaprio) are sent to Washington to meet with the Head of Planetary Defense (Rob Morgan) and inform the president (Meryl Streep) of the impending doom. What’s worse than knowing a comet is about to destroy the Earth? How about watching our leaders do nothing about it, unless it would directly improve their political agenda?
One of the hardest pills to swallow from Don’t Look Up is how it shows that those in positions of power are rarely our “best and brightest”. And sadly, even when we do have smart, moral people on the front lines, like DiCaprio’s character is supposed to be, the limelight can often cloud their judgment. The film depicts how a modern mixture of fame, media, wealth and crisis can have disastrous outcomes for the masses.
I think what makes Don’t Look Up best picture material is that last scene around the dinner table. Mindy’s family talks about what they’re most thankful for, their most meaningful moments, eat and wait together for impact to happen. Edited in are moments across the globe as the world waits for impact too. Bees buzz, babies coo, people pray, fight and make love. What’s shown of the comet impacting is terrifying, powerful and beautiful. The whole scene packs a surprisingly emotional punch in such a comical film.
Don’t Look Up is nominated for just four Academy Awards. They include Best Picture, original screenplay, original score and film editing. It may not sound like much compared to some of the heavy hitters, but it’s quite an honor for a disaster satire on Netflix.
Since Don’t Look Up dropped on Netflix to the masses it has sparked some politically charged love and hate, very little in between. Adam McKay’s films tend to do this, even when based in fiction. Some complain that it is ridiculous, Washington’s leaders would never behave like that, we have nothing to fear and it’s all leftist hysteria. Others say it’s practically a documentary, mirrors previous administrations and a similar scenario may be the downfall of civilization. I personally just hope we don’t live so see such times, we’ve seen enough in the last few years.
“So basically what you’re saying is you’re about to lose the midterms cause you got caught sending pictures of your cooch to your pornstar-sheriff-boyfriend, so now it’s to your advantage to act on the comet?”