blue graphic with a picture of the movie Don't Look Up

Friday Favorite: Don’t Look Up

Have you watched the Netflix hit Don’t Look Up? Did you notice the part about God?

Don’t Look Up is a satire that casts Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence as rather obscure astronomists who notice a comet heading straight toward planet earth that will decimate all life without a combined global effort to combat it. Politics, the media, technocrats, and consumerism all collide to prevent the necessary efforts to save planet earth. It was written as a parable about our failure to combat climate change, and it reads now like a parable about our failure to effectively mobilize against Covid-19. 

Critique of Our Society

What interested me most, though, was the broader critique it offers of a society that has forgotten and neglected our spiritual and relational lives for the sake of personal profit and desire. 

The final scene of the film centers around a table. A family—both literally and figuratively—comes together to eat a home-cooked midwestern meal. One person at the table mentions that he feels like they should pray, but he doesn’t know how. Another character—who grew up in an evangelical church—volunteers. On the heels of mockery of the government and the entertainment industry and industrial titans, I was surprised to hear a simple and sincere prayer for God’s presence and comfort. That prayer was the most sincere and beautiful moment of the film.

Highly Recommend

Critics have derided the film, but I highly recommend it. It was clever and thought-provoking. It underscores how much we need our leaders—civic and corporate—to mobilize and work together to create global changes when it comes to disease or the climate. And yet embedded at the end of this film was also the thought that we each individually also have an opportunity for connection—to one another and to God—that could also provide the grounding our world so desperately needs.

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