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What The Shoe Represents In Nope, According To Jordan Peele

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As a guest on the Happy Sad Confused podcast, writer-director Jordan Peele explained the importance of the shoe that appears repeatedly in “Nope.” According to the filmmaker, the shoe and Just’s association with it represent a specific response to trauma, in which the victim detaches from the visceral terror of the traumatizing event. Instead, they fixate on a banal detail of the environment.

“The shoe represents a moment of moving beyond trauma,” Peele said. “Jupe dives into this little shoe — that’s Mary Jo’s shoe — who’s ended up in a precarious, weird situation, and that’s where he dissociates.”

The shoe has another level of meaning, which Peele also explained. Peele spoke frequently of what he calls “wicked miracles” in relation to “no,” which are terrible events that seem almost impossible. It’s also an idea that comes up in the text of the film itself, and according to the director, the shoe feeds that concept.

“In a way, it’s the impossible shot. It’s the impossible moment,” Peele said. When asked by podcast host Josh Horowitz if it was a wicked miracle, Peele replied, “Yes, it’s a wicked miracle. Very good. You have it. You have the shoe.”



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