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Mudbound (2017)

R | | Drama, War | 17 November 2017 (USA)
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Two men return home from World War II to work on a farm in rural Mississippi, where they struggle to deal with racism and adjusting to life after war.

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Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 29 wins & 95 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
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Rose Tricklebank
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Weeks
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Carl Atwood
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Vera Atwood
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Laura's Mother
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Conductor
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Church Deacon
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Teddy
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Storyline

In the aftermath of WWII, somewhere in the muddy Mississippi Delta, two families--one black, the Jacksons, and the other white, the McAllans--are forced to share the same patch of land, keeping a frail race-based peace with each other. However, as they both struggle with hardship and dire poverty, the long-awaited return of two war veterans--Ronsel, the Jacksons' eldest son, and Jamie, Henry McAllan's younger brother--will unexpectedly nurture a budding friendship that transcends prejudice and race. But, in the end, against a backdrop of fevered Mississippi sunsets and vitriolic racism, life can be hard when the law of the land is still segregation and hatred. And then, no one can be safe. Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some disturbing violence, brief language and nudity | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

17 November 2017 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mudbound: El color de la guerra  »

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Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Dee Rees shared photographs from the film's era with Carey Mulligan as part of her preparation, and she was drawn to a particular one of a woman with a really short fringe (bangs) who looked so awkward to her, which she thought reflected her character Laura. Thus, she cut her hair in a similar style for the film. See more »

Goofs

When Jamie comes home from the war, a package of Lucky Strike "Green" is visible on the table. Lucky's packaging was switched to white in 1942; even in the middle of nowhere, there's no way a three-year-old package of cigarettes would not have been consumed, especially with rationing. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Jamie McAllan: [in a hole digging]
Henry McAllan: You better get a hurry along. We ain't gonna make it.
[mopping his brow]
Henry McAllan: Oh, we will. We have to.
[sighs]
Henry McAllan: Take a break. Come on. My turn.
Jamie McAllan: "We will. We have to."
Jamie McAllan: [narrating] That was my brother, Henry. Absolutely certain whatever he wanted to happen would.
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Connections

Featured in The 24th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards (2018) See more »

Soundtracks

Mighty River
Written by Mary J. Blige, Raphael Saadiq and Taura Stinson
Performed by Mary J. Blige
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User Reviews

 
hatred is not new
9 November 2017 | by See all my reviews

Greetings again from the darkness. The Jim Crow South and WWII have each spawned many movies, and both play a crucial role in director Dee Rees' (BESSIE) adaptation (co-written with Virgil Williams) of Hillary Jordan's 2008 novel. It's the story of two families, the Jacksons and the McAllans, striving for daily survival in rural Mississippi during the 1940's.

The Jacksons are a black family tenant-farming on land owned by the white McAllans who transplanted from Memphis. This land is so remote and life so hard, that tractors are almost non-existent and mules are rare enough. There is such a bleakness to this existence that all seem oblivious to the always present mudhole leading to the front door of their shack. Elation comes in the form of a privacy wall constructed around the outdoor family shower, or the sweetness of a bar of chocolate. Soon after D-Day, Florence and Hap Jackson send their son Ronsel off to war. The same thing is happening across the 200 acre farm to Jamie McAllan, brother of Henry and son of Pappy.

A shifting of multiple narrators throughout allows us access to the perspectives of multiple characters. We get both black and white views on war and farming. Days in war bring injury, death and dirt … not so dissimilar to life on a Mississippi farm. When Ronsel and Jamie return from war, they are both suffering. Ronsel can't come to grips with how he was treated as a redeemer in Europe, but just another 'black man' being targeted by the KKK at home, while Jamie is shell-shocked into alcoholism and an inability to function in society. The parallels between the war experience of Ronsel and Jamie lead them to a friendship that ultimately can't be good for either.

Jason Clarke plays Henry and Carey Mulligan, his wife Laura. Jonathan Banks ("Breaking Bad", "Better Call Saul") is the ultimate nasty racist Pappy, while Garrett Hedlund is Jamie. Rob Morgan and Mary J Blige are Hap and Florence Jackson, and Jason Mitchell (STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON) is Ronsel. While all perform well, it's Mitchell and Hedlund who are particular standouts, as is a radio reference of the great Lou Boudreau. Rachel Morrison's cinematography is terrific and captures both the hardscrabble life of Mississippi, but also the frantic and tragic abruptness of war (in just a couple of scenes).

Racism is always difficult to watch, and in that era, everyone had their place/plight in life. It was a structure built to ensure misery for most, and one guaranteed to collapse. The acting here is very strong and the film is well made. The story-telling is consistently disquieting and periodically unbearable. Still, we are all tired (or should be) of hatred. The somewhat hopeful ending caused an audible sigh of relief from an audience of viewers who had been angry and clinched for more than two hours. And though there is no joy in Mudville, we remain hopeful, even today.


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