Adam McKay’s controversial environmental parable Don’t Look Up has just won big at the 2022 Writers Guild of America Awards, taking home the award for Original Screenplay. For many, this will raise eyebrows, as Don’t Look Up debuted on Netflix last year to middling reviews and is currently rated ‘Rotten’ on the Tomatometer at 55%.
However, evidence has been mounting that this could be a classic case of the critics getting it wrong, as extremely strong audience word-of-mouth has ensured it’s gone on to be the second biggest Netflix original movie ever. Over the last few months, it’s also seen several nods from the industry, being named as one of 2021’s ten best movies by the AFI, the National Board of Review, and the New York Film Critics Online.
It’s also been nominated for four Oscars (including Best Picture) at the 2022 Academy Awards and it winning would be a huge upset considering that many top critics and outlets tore it apart.
It’s great to see Don’t Look Up getting the love it deserves, especially considering that those that reviewed it poorly either seem to have wilfully misunderstood its message and/or were smarting that they were the target of its satire. Much of the script is devoted to exposing the media’s shortcomings and the constant need to reduce everything to trivialities and some (particularly The Guardian) seem to have taken it personally.
Since its release leading environmentalists have said that it’s a depressingly accurate depiction of how the media approaches news on climate change. Let’s hope this success continues next week at the Academy Awards and we can begin filing this alongside Psycho, The Shining, Starship Troopers, and Fight Club as classic movies that supposedly big-brained professional critics didn’t understand.
Don’t Look Up is available to stream on Netflix.