Slash Film

The image of the shoe is arresting. It’s the first thing viewers see in the opening of the film. A powder blue Keds-style gym shoe with a spot of red blood on the toe, it seems to defy gravity, evoking a ghostly feeling of a pirouetting ballerina sans the actual ballerina or her foot. Like any good movie, the image isn’t explained. Instead, we are left to puzzle it out for ourselves over the course of the film. We know it’s important because a grown-up Jupe has framed it and placed it on display in his definitely creepy shrine-like collection of memorabilia from his days on the set of “Gordy’s Home.”

His impulse to preserve even a small part of the tragedy is reason enough to believe it holds some meaning, and if you really want to know just what that meaning is, Jordan Peele has finally offered up an explanation. In an interview for the podcast, “Happy Sad Confused,” Peele says, 

“The shoe represents a moment of where we check out of a trauma. 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 that he disassociates. So the shoe for me is in essence, in one way it’s the impossible shot. That’s an impossible moment.”  

This is a fitting explanation for a film so wrapped up in “impossible moments.” For Jupe, the shoe offers him a way out of his present trauma, but, as Peele goes on to explain in the interview, it ultimately ends up being “a bad miracle.” 

/Film – ‘Slash Film: Jordan Peele Explains What That Shoe Represents In Nope’
Author: Miyako Pleines
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January 18, 2023

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