Review by Justin Waldman for Mr. Will Wong
Dee Rees’ Mudbound is an authentic snapshot of rural Mississippi in the ’40s post-World War II. After a Premiere at TIFF ’17, this unmissable Film now is set to stream on Netflix for your enjoyment. The Film is an Adaptation of Hillary Jordan‘s 2008 Novel.
The Movie focuses on Jamie McAllan (Garrett Hedlund) and Ronsel Jackson (Jason Mitchell). Early on, we discover that the Jackson family work for Laura and Henry McAllan (Carey Mulligan and Jason Clarke) on their cotton farm. Everything is in order until Ronsel and Jamie return home from the war. Upon returning home, we see the devastating racism which the former encounters in his community despite being a war hero. At war, he very much is seen as an equal. A powerful friendship is formed between Jamie and Ronsel, tested against the extreme rigours of what society feels is wrong or right and this where the heart of the Movie lies.
Mudbound stands on firm ground with the support of its brilliant performances from its Ensemble who create something very affecting and real. Garrett Hedlund does a fantastic job of playing a war veteran suffering from PTSD, refusing to accept and partake in the flagrant racism of his community even if it means going against his family. Jason Clarke and Carey Mulligan deliver complex performances believing they are in right, yet struggling internally that what they are doing might not be. Songstress Mary J. Blige transforms, almost unrecognizable here as the matriarch of the Jackson family, loving and protecting her family. The biggest revelation belongs to Jason Mitchell whom you might remember from Straight Outta Compton, with an inspired and heartfelt performance that won’t be forgotten.
This is one of the best Films of 2017. While it proves hard to watch at times, it sets out to push boundaries and keep the dialogue open about race relations, a matter still at the forefront of discussion today.
Netflix Canada release MUDBOUND on Friday, November 17, 2017.