Like it or not, the success of Adam McKay’s Don’t Look Up is plain and obvious to see, with the mind-numbing satire having secured a nomination for Best Picture at the 2022 Oscars along with Best Original Screenplay and Best Original Score. Starring the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Cate Blanchett, Ariana Grande, Timothée Chalamet, Jonah Hill and Tyler Perry, it may well be the one Oscar-nominated film that the most people have seen.
With DiCaprio and Lawrence leading the line, the brand new film from Netflix follows two scientists who announce the impending arrival of a life-threatening meteorite heading to earth, only for no one at all to believe them. In conversation with Variety, director Adam McKay revealed his inspiration behind the bleak, sci-fi project, telling the publication: “I find myself on a daily basis laughing really hard at certain things while also being terrified or dispirited. So this is a very natural outgrowth of just thinking about these times and how do you tell these stories?”.
The project immediately piqued the interest of lead star DiCaprio who has long put himself at the very forefront of such environmental causes that McKay’s film discusses. As the actor tells Variety, “To see how mankind sort of reacts to this crisis, that the whole issue becomes politicised, that inaction starts to take place, and people start to unravel when they hear news of that calibre,” DiCaprio asserts, making note of the cynical response the general public gives to the threatening news in the film.
“So that was the brilliant hook in Adam’s screenplay that made me go, ‘Wow, I’ve never seen anything like this,’” DiCaprio explained, adding: “Because it’s very difficult to do a film that’s overtly about this issue”.
Whilst Don’t Look Up limps through its own satire, it has to be commended for its awards success with the film carrying a pertinent message that taps into the paranoia of modern-day living.