Rated: R for some disturbing violence, brief language and nudity. Reviewed by: Jim Release date: November 17, 2017 Released by: Netflix
Dee Rees' wisely shaded and well-tempered drama easily has the power of her earlier well-received Pariahand deserves to be seen by a wider audience.
Mudbound is set in 1940s farm country and probably will bear comparison with Nate Parker's searing slave drama Birth of a Nation with its drive around racial animosity and the psychological toll of war.
The dynamic of the white proprietors — the McAllans (Jason Clarke, Carey Mulligan) and the black sharecroppers - The Jacksons (Mary J. Blige, Jason Mitchell, Rob Morgan) drawn from Hillary Jordan's novel offers a detailed grasp of prevalent attitudes during a 'Jim Crow' era filled with simmering ire.
A disorientation is evident in how the narration is spread among many characters, yet gradually Rees makes it palatable and palpable through the commitment of her actors to material that weaves pathos from complexity.
The interaction and shared feelings of Jamie McAllan (Garrett Hedlund) and Ronsel Jackson (Jason Mitchell) on the World War II battlefield definitely provides an impact and richer perspective. The poised writer/director locates a relatable connection in what hardly gets bogged down in cliché or stereotype delivering a muscular, if often melancholy Mudbound that always makes Jordan's prose resonate in front and behind the lens.