There was a period of time when we all thought Beasts Of No Nation was going to be a force to be reckoned with in the Oscar race. As it turns out, the Academy wasn’t ready to embrace a Netflix original movie. Or maybe they were turned off by the film’s dark subject matter. Either way, Netflix is trying again with Mudbound, and I think that this attempt will be more successful.
Dee Rees could very easily become the first woman of color to receive a Best Director nomination at the Oscars, which would be historic. And it would also be well deserved. Despite being a relative Newcomer, Rees delivers a vision that seems very reminiscent of a veteran director like Steven Spielberg.
In fact, the whole film has a very old-fashioned feel to it, and I mean that in the best way possible. It reminded me of a classic film, like something I would have watched when I was doing the Best Picture quest. And that is a very good sign.
Now, this movie doesn’t have a true lead. It’s an ensemble piece. And the ensemble does a very good job acting off of one another. Expect this film to receive a nomination for Ensemble at the SAG awards.
I think that this film will do very well at the Oscars, but maybe that’s just because the Academy will do anything to avoid a repeat of #OscarsSoWhite. But it is a very good film. Just be aware that it’s not going to be for everyone. The film has a number of disturbing moments that can be genuinely hard to watch. But I think if you can get past that, you’ll find Mudbound to be a very emotional and powerful experience.
**** out of ****