As the Sundance Film Festival rolls along, expect at least a handful of Oscar Watch posts for 2017 as we await the 2016 Oscar nominations come Tuesday. I’ve already covered A Ghost Story with Casey Affleck. Now we move to a film said to have received a thunderous ovation over the weekend – Mudbound from director Dee Rees.
The period drama is set post World War II and focuses on the plights of two farming families (one black, one white) in Mississippi. It is based on an acclaimed 2008 novel by Hillary Jordan. The cast includes Carey Mulligan, Garrett Hedlund, Jason Clarke, Jason Mitchell, Mary J. Blige, and Jonathan Banks. Mudbound is not expected to be released wide until fall.
Based on critical and festival audience buzz over the weekend, this could have what it takes to keep momentum over the next year when it comes to Academy potential. The reaction is somewhat similar to last year’s Sundance entry The Birth of a Nation, which came out of the fest like a rocket. Of course, its Oscar chances dimmed when controversy surrounded its director and star.
If Mudbound can manage to stay relevant as many other heavy hitters make their way to screens this year, Rees could be the first African American female to receive a Directing nod. As for the actors, both Mitchell (who played Eazy-E in Straight Outta Compton) and R&B legend Blige have gotten kudos and could compete in their respective supporting races.
My Oscar Watch posts will continue…