The 2017 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) has unveiled its first round of programming for its upcoming 42nd edition, and Dee Rees’ highly anticipated film Mudbound, based on Hillary Jordan’s 2008 novel of the same name, is among the lineup!
The film is set in the Mississippi Delta during and immediately following World War II, the film follows two families: the white McAllans, who own a large farm, and the black Jacksons, who are sharecroppers on the McAllans’ land. When both Jamie McAllan (Garrett Hedlund) and Ronsel Jackson (Jason Mitchell) return from serving in the war, they become friends, bonding over their shared experience. However, while the two men saw the world change enormously when they fought for their country, they come home to find that rural Mississippi stayed very much the same, and neither their families nor their community looks kindly on their friendship.
“I just wanted to juxtapose the battle at home versus the battle abroad, with the battle at home sometimes being even bloodier than the battle abroad. And it’s not only bloodier, but filthier too. The look of the film, and the cleanliness of its characters, echoes its title, Rees said in a post Sundance screening Q&A. “For me, the mud was a metaphor for the suck that we’re all in,” the filmmaker said. “The mud, and the suck, and the elements being kind of indifferent to our suffering.”
Mudbound made it’s feature debut earlier this year at Sundance was acquired by Netflix for a whopping $12.5 million! The drama stars Carey Mulligan, Jason Clarke, Jason Mitchell, Mary J. Blige, Rob Morgan, Garrett Hedlund, and Jonathan Banks, and was executive produced by Poppy Hanks, produced by Charles King, Kim Roth, Cassian Elwes, Sally Jo Effenson, Carl Effenson, Chris Lemole, and Tim Zajaros. MACRO co-financed this project with Zeal, and Good Universe will sell foreign rights.
TIFF has established itself as an essential cog in the four-armed fall festival Oscar machine, with its prestigious People’s Choice Award signaling either a Best Picture win or nomination for eight of its last 10 winners since 2007. The festival has hosted special screenings of fellow Best Picture contenders Arrival, Manchester by the Sea, La La Land, and eventual winner Moonlight, so we are cetainly looking for to seeing Mudbound.