Speaking during a new interview, acclaimed director Jordan Peele has explained the significance of the confusing shoe concept in his latest film, Nope.
The Get Out director unveiled Nope, a sci-fi horror movie that follows horse-wrangling siblings OJ (Daniel Kaluuya) and Emerald (Keke Palmer), in July 2022. The characters are thrown into a world of weirdness and turmoil when a UFO visits their Californian ranch.
During the movie, it’s revealed that Jupe, portrayed by Steven Yeun, is the survivor of a chimp attack on the set of a sitcom he appeared in as a child. As his fellow cast members are attacked by Gordy, the chimp, Jupe hides under a table and focuses on a strange shoe that is perfectly balanced.
The shoe is seen later in the film on display in Jupe’s tribute room, dedicated to the sitcom titled ‘Gordy’s Home’. Miraculously, it’s still in the upright position. Naturally, fans have been throwing speculation around in circles since last summer, but thankfully, Peele addressed the strange phenomenon during a recent appearance on the Happy Sad Confused podcast.
“The shoe represents a moment where we check out of a trauma,” Peele said. “And Jupe, he zones in on this little shoe, that’s Mary Jo’s shoe, that has landed in a precarious, odd situation. And this is the moment he disassociates.”
The flourishing filmmaker went on to explain that this also ties into the film’s theme of a “bad miracle”, referred to early on by Kaluuya’s character. “In one way, it’s the impossible shot. It’s the impossible moment.” He elaborated to host Josh Horowitz: “Yes, it’s a bad miracle. Very good. You got it. You got the shoe.”
In a three-star review for Nope, Far Out wrote: “It is only in the final act, when the characters become involved in planning and executing a defence campaign, that the film becomes close to conventional, and we are faced with more commonplace science fiction. This is not Peele’s best work, but it is well made and has much of his familiar inventiveness and novel approach to horror, making it a film well worth watching.”