Song of the Day #3,463: ‘Redbone’ – Childish Gambino

Next up in my 2017 film recap is a group of films I’m labelling ‘Awards Contenders.’ These movies are either winning or at least in the conversation for the various critics prizes, Golden Globes, SAG, PGA, DGA, WGA, Oscars and you get the idea.

Studios often hold these award-bait movies until the very end of the year, so I still have quite a few to catch up on, including Paul Thomas Anderson’s Phantom Thread, Steven Spielberg’s The Post, Richard Linklater’s Last Flag Flying and Luca Guadagnino’s Call Me By Your Name.

Get Out (my #2 of the year) is an Oscar front-runner from the unlikeliest of genres: horror. Only one horror film — 1992’s Silence of the Lambs — has ever won Best Picture. Could this sleeper hit, written and directed by Jordan Peele of Key & Peele fame, become the second? Interestingly, if it does take the top prize, Get Out will be the third winner in the past five years directed by a black man.

Like all great horror films, Get Out is about more than scares. Peele was inspired by the feminist allegory of The Stepford Wives to tackle racism in a similar way. After all, what is more terrifying than living as a black man in America? He made the smart decision not to go after the obvious Trump-ian targets but instead to focus on liberal white racism and cultural appropriation. The result is the most woke film of 2017, and one of the most entertaining. Its cathartic finale was the most exhilarating moment I had in a theater this year.

Speaking of staying woke, Get Out makes fine use of Childish Gambino’s ‘Redbone’ during its opening credits, giving me a perfect Song of the Day for this post.

The Shape of Water (#10) is Guillermo Del Toro’s best film since his 2006 masterpiece Pan’s Labyrinth, and shares that film’s R-rated approach to the traditional fairy tale. I love that Del Toro gives us a human/sea creature romance that doesn’t remain perfectly chaste. While this isn’t one of my five favorite films of the year, I would absolutely nominate Del Toro for Best Director. This movie is a technical marvel, a peerless clinic on shot composition, camera movement and the use of color and practical effects.

Stronger (#11), David Gordon Green’s biopic about Jeff Bauman, who survived the Boston Marathon bombing but lost both of his legs, is also very well-directed but even more of an actor’s showcase. Jake Gyllenhaal must be wondering what exactly he has to do to get a Best Oscar nomination, if spending most of a film legless in a wheelchair doesn’t cut it. And Tatiana Maslany, so good on Orphan Black, is even more impressive capturing the devotion and exasperation of Baumer’s girlfriend.

Finally, Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (#12) is another actor’s showcase, featuring one of Frances McDormand’s best performances and wonderful turns by Sam Rockwell and Woody Harrelson (that man is a god damn national treasure). It’s the funniest movie to ever use a teenage girl’s brutal rape as a vehicle for the redemption of a violent, racist cop. McDonagh has a knack for dark comedy, to put it mildly, and he pulls it off here, even if I still consider In Bruges his finest moment.

[Verse 1]
I wake up feeling like you won’t play right
I used to know, but now that shit don’t feel right
It made me put away my pride
So long
You made a nigga wait for some, so long
You make it hard for boy like that to go on
I’m wishing I could make this mine, oh

If you want it, yeah
You can have it, oh, oh, oh
If you need it, oooh
We can make it, oh
If you want it
You can have it

But stay woke
Niggas creepin’
They gon’ find you
Gon’ catch you sleepin’ (Oooh)
Now stay woke
Niggas creepin’
Now don’t you close your eyes

[Verse 2]
Too late
You wanna make it right, but now it’s too late
My peanut butter chocolate cake with Kool-Aid
I’m trying not to waste my time

If you want it, oh
You can have it, you can have it
If you need it
You better believe in something
We can make it
If you want it
You can have it, aaaaah!

But stay woke
Niggas creepin’
They gon’ find you
Gon’ catch you sleepin’
Put your hands up on me
Ooh, now stay woke
Niggas creepin’
Now, don’t you close your eyes
But stay woke, ooh
Niggas creepin’
They gon’ find you
Gon’ catch you sleepin’, ooh
Now stay woke
Niggas creepin’
Now, don’t you close your eyes

Baby get so scandalous, oh
How’d it get so scandalous?
Oh, oh, baby, you…
How’d it get…
How’d it get so scandalous?
Ooh, we get so scandalous
But stay woke
But stay woke

3 thoughts on “Song of the Day #3,463: ‘Redbone’ – Childish Gambino

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    While Get Out should and likely will be nominated for best picture, I don’t think it will win. I also think a number of the films you featured yesterday under the woman category have a real shot, including Lady a Bird in particular, but I would even give Wonder Woman an outside shot at a nomination. I assume you will be covering The Big Sick under comedies, but I would like to see that get some Oscar recognition as well.

    Of the films being released late, I suspect The Post may ultimately be the one to beat, particularly if Hollywood wants to send a message to Trump and assuming it is critically well-received. Should it take Best Picture, however, I really hope one of the women wins Best Director.

  2. Peg Clifton says:

    I really would like the Post to win for the very reason Dana mentioned. However there are so many great contenders as you pointed out in the blog so I could certainly live with Billboards or Get Out and others. Great year for films!

  3. The Cool Guy (Daniel) says:

    I think in the year where four out of the five Grammy nominations for Album of the Year were diverse artists there is no doubt that quality work done by diverse creators is starting to be recognized. The album this song belongs to (“Awaken, my Love”) was rightfully nominated for best album of the year as well as this amazing song itself for Record of the Year. In short the only thing we know for certain is that Childish Gambino is finally getting the recognition he deserves.

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