[Tears still raining down]Here's to Ronsel finding happiness and managing to rejoin Resl + lil' Franz in Germany. Here's to racist pigs choking to death and rapists being slaughtered sans pity. Here's to feminism & equal opportunity despite 'ethnic' background or gender. Here's to Mary J. Blige's Oscar. Here's me spitting in the face of the voters for not nominating Dee Rees for Best Picture and Best D I R E C T O R▽
The Toronto festival programmer noted that the film reveals the crack in the foundation of America. A crack? How about a bottomless pit of racism and hatred that time has done nothing to fill and current political climes nurture. The film itself is a somewhat by the numbers adaptation of the novel featuring some interesting character performances but nary enough depth in scripting to overcome its weaknesses.
As Norma Desmond said, "I *am* big! It's the pictures that got small." Mudbound is a Big Picture shrunk down for Netflix, but even setting that aside, it wastes what it does well—a multitude of perspectives—by sinking into melodrama that feels like our era's version of an earlier era's version of an earlier era. Not without some impact, but 40% of it could have sprung from the collective unconscious of Oscar season.
Though "important" movies engineered to win awards and pamper self-congratulatory, middlebrow liberal audiences are probably the kind of movie I am most congenitally predisposed to balk at, I am often interested to see what they will do (almost entirely from a sociological standpoint). MUDBOUND is actually fascinating despite leading us inexorably into overblown apotheosis. Some imagination, very strong cast.
Dee Rees is a treasure. This portrait of desolated souls and places in rural USA during and after WWII was beautiful. Jonathan Banks' KKK heinous patriarch was a scene-stealer, Mulligan expresses sadness through her eyes like no other actress and Garrett Hedlund was a doll. Oh, and preach it MJ Blige!
This is another triumph by Dee Rees, an important, intelligent voice in the contemporary cinema, who knows exactly which message she wants to convey and what she needs from her cast and crew to make a film look and feel authentic.