Based on a novel by Hilary Jordan, Dee Rees’ Mudbound is a moving Second World War fable set in the Mississippi Delta that does not shy away from the ugliness of racism. Netflix’s cinematic outing is more than deserving of theatrical exhibition, however limited.
Mudbound opens with white farmer Henry McAllan (Jason Clarke) and younger brother Jamie (the always-charismatic Garrett Hedlund) digging a grave for their father in the pouring rain. We don’t yet know the reason for their urgency, or why their black neighbours who pass them by on a buggy are so reluctant to help lower the coffin. Cue several years earlier, and Henry is seeking the affections of shy Laura (Carey Mulligan), who tells us she’s more grateful for Henry’s attentions that in love with him. It’s clear that she’s more attracted to ladies’ man Jamie, but she marries Henry anyway.
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