Netflix has released a new Mudbound trailer. Dee Rees’ new film follows two families, one white and one black, in the South in the lead-up and aftermath of World War II. It’s a masterful work of filmmaking with the kind of storytelling that evokes the best work of William Faulkner. The story is told from multiple perspectives, letting the viewer understand the hardships of its various characters as they seek to dig out a life as rural farmers in Mississippi.
The trailer itself isn’t bad, but I can’t help but feel like even with a limited theatrical release, Mudbound will fail to make waves, not because of the content of the movie, but because it’s just another title for the streaming giant. While Netflix might end up mounting an Oscar campaign for the movie, ultimately those campaigns are bolstered by audience interest, and you have to get audiences willing to take two and a half hours out of their day to see a tough drama that has no easy answers. On the one hand, I like the Netflix is backing these filmmakers, and given the choice between Netflix and no distribution at all, Netflix is the obvious choice. But I feel like it’s a title that’s going to be sadly overlooked, or it will just sit in people’s lists forever, a title you hover over before going to something more relaxing or immediate.
Check out the Mudbound trailer below, and click here for Adam Chitwood’s review from Sundance. The film hits Netflix and select theaters on November 17th and you should watch it as soon as possible. The film stars Carey Mulligan, Jason Clarke, Mary J. Blige, Rob Morgan, Jonathan Banks, Jason Mitchell, and Garrett Hedlund.
Here’s the official synopsis for Mudbound:
Set in the rural American South during World War II, Dee Rees’ Mudbound is an epic story of two families pitted against one another by a ruthless social hierarchy, yet bound together by the shared farmland of the Mississippi Delta.
Mudbound follows the McAllan family, newly transplanted from the quiet civility of Memphis and unprepared for the harsh demands of farming. Despite the grandiose dreams of Henry (Jason Clarke), his wife Laura (Carey Mulligan) struggles to keep the faith in her husband’s losing venture. Meanwhile, Hap and Florence Jackson (Rob Morgan, Mary J. Blige) — sharecroppers who have worked the land for generations — struggle bravely to build a small dream of their own despite the rigidly enforced social barriers they face.
The war upends both families’ plans as their returning loved ones, Jamie McAllan (Garrett Hedlund) and Ronsel Jackson (Jason Mitchell), forge a fast but uneasy friendship that challenges the brutal realities of the Jim Crow South in which they live.