Netflix has yet to make a major impact on the Oscars (witness Idris Elba’s snub for the acclaimed 2015 drama “Beasts of No Nation”), but that may change with “Mudbound,” based on the powerful trailer that has just been released. The film has earned raves on the festival circuit and from critics, who are quoted in the teaser.
Directed by Dee Rees (“Pariah”), the sprawling drama follows two families — one white and one black — in rural Mississippi during World War II and its aftermath. Carey Mulligan, who earned an Oscar nomination for “An Education” (2009), stars as a farm wife caught between her husband (Jason Clarke) and his younger brother (Garrett Hedlund), a returning veteran. The R&B singer Mary J. Blige, in what’s said to be a breakout performance, plays a mother whose son (Jason Mitchell) is also a returning veteran who comes back from Europe only to encounter intransigent racism.
Ms. Rees, who along with Virgil Williams adapted Hillary Jordan’s novel, could become the first African-American woman nominated for best director at the Oscars. (Ava DuVernay was passed over for the 2014 drama “Selma.”) But Ms. Rees will have to overcome the perception that “Mudbound” is a made-for-TV movie, since it will be released simultaneously online and in theaters on Nov. 17.
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