Which of the following Best Picture nominees at the 2022 Academy Awards was a satire on climate change?
Considering Belfast, Dune, Nightmare Alley and Don't Look Up, the answer is: Don't Look Up.
Featuring a star-studded cast of Meryl Streep, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Cate Blanchett, and more, the Adam McKay-directed film Don't Look Up broke Netflix records and was nominated for four Academy Awards.
From Anchorman to Step Brothers, director Adam McKay is known across the board for his sharp-witted satirical films, and Don't Look Up is no exception. Although McKay's 2021 release is far more serious with its treatment of climate change, the comedic notes are hard to miss. Interestingly, though, Don't Look Up isn't McKay's first politically-minded film. Favorable reviews of The Big Short and Vice convinced McKay to invest time and effort into creating the now widely popular 2021 Oscar-nominated film.
While the acting in the star-studded performance has been lauded from all corners, other features of production have helped the movie find its cultural moment in subtle ways. McKay decided that his sensible lead characters would be taking an unexpected trip through Hades, and indeed, one of the most standout selections by costume designer Susan Matheson accurately reflects that concept. President Orlean's (played by Meryl Streep) fashion sense bounces between red, white, and blue, indicating her played-up patriotism throughout the story. And her chief of staff, who's also her son, carries a Birkin handbag as an indication of their family's wealth— a prop suggestion that was actually born from the mind of Jonah Hill himself. Most tellingly, when our leads first meet President Orlean, she's cloaked in fiery red, indicating their descent into a hellish world of madness.
Learn more about the behind-the-scenes action of Don't Look Up here.