Dee Rees’s Mudbound debuted to critical acclaim at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, and that rapturous reception only continued as the film made its way through the festival circuit and into theatrical (and streaming) release last fall courtesy of Netflix. Reaffirming that popularity, the film competed for two awards at Sunday’s Golden Globes — for Best Supporting Actress (Mary J. Blige) and Best Original Song (“Mighty River,” by Raphael Saadiq and Mary J. Blige) — and though Mudbound didn’t come away with a win in either category, it remains one of the year’s most honored films. And, as director Rees told us, also one of its most timely.
Speaking on the red carpet to Yahoo Entertainment, the filmmaker admitted that, when the film was shot back in 2016, issues of police brutality and racial profiling were making headlines throughout the country, and “we were living that as we were there.” The process of making Mudbound, she says, was therefore a chance to speak to both the present and the past in a way that was at once highly personal and universal. “Making this film was about telling my grandmother’s story, telling my story, and just being able to bring it to life — with all characters that have a voice. It’s not just one-sided; it’s getting everybody’s perspective.” And that includes the perspective of Blige, with whom Rees says it was “amazing” to collaborate.
Though it left the Golden Globes show empty-handed, Mudbound remains in the mix for Academy Award nominations in a number of categories. To see Rees’s entire Golden Globes interview with us, check out our exclusive video above.
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