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What The Song Playing During The End Of Us Really Means

While Jordan Peele is best known for his comedic work on TV shows such as "Key and Peele" and "Keanu," he shocked the world with his 2017 feature directorial debut "Get Out." After winning the Oscar for best original screenplay for the horror film (via Vanity Fair), Peele followed it up with 2019's "Us." The movie reunited Lupita Nyong'o and Winston Duke, who had previously worked together on "Black Panther," and also co-starred Elisabeth Moss and Tim Heidecker.

One important facet of "Us" is the song "Les Fleurs," sung by Minnie Riperton. The song appears at the beginning of the film before returning to score the final shot. The film's composer, Michael Abels, spoke about the significance of the song choice in a 2019 Slate interview. According to Abels, "Les Fleurs" is an Easter egg and goes on to explain that, "at the beginning of the movie, we see an ad for Hands Across America. The ad is actually fake, and Jordan [Peele] had me do a little cheesy '80s version of 'Les Fleurs' to use as the underscore for the commercial. Then the real song returns at the end of the movie — but you really have to know that song and be listening to catch that. That's a Jordan Peele joke."

Not only is "Les Fleurs" an Easter egg, but it also adds a deeper meaning to the themes of "Us" and makes the final scene even more impactful.

Minnie Riperton's song shines a light on the message in Us

The two versions of "Les Fleurs" adds different meanings to the events shown in "Us." The movie's fake Hands Across America commercial uses a feel-good take on the song designed to alienate as few people as possible. While ostensibly tackling the issues of homelessness and hunger in its messaging, the fake commercial does little to actively address those concerns. Instead, the ad glosses over them with the help of Abels' cheerful take on the 1970 song.

Where Abels' rendition of the song helps viewers ignore those dark issues, Riperton's equally bright and positive original version shines a light on them. The final scene of "Us" (via YouTube) shows the Tethered out in the open as they hold hands and fulfill the vision of the Hands Across America fundraiser. The ghoulish doubles standing in a line forces the audience to really confront them because they are the physical representation of what Hands Across America hoped to address (via The New York Times).

In the end, the idea of "Les Fleurs" being used as a joke is understandable. "Les Fleurs," French for "the flowers," is the movie's way of making a darkly amusing comment about the Tethered springing up like flowers into the sunlight from their underground world. The lyrics (via Genius) encourage feelings of love and unity as a new era dawns. But, in "Us," that new era is the Tethered emerging to take back their agency and become a part of society.