Earlier this year, Hulu became the first streaming service to win the Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series with The Handmaid’s Tale, but Netflix has other award show ambitions. Since debuting at the Sundance Film Festival, Mudbound has received incredible reviews from critics (including from our own Mike Ryan) and looks all but certain to be the company’s first major Oscar contender. Sorry, Sandy Wexler. Based on Hillary Jordan’s novel of the same name, the post-World War II-set drama from Dee Rees (who could become the first black woman to be nominated for Best Director) is about two families — one white, one black — living on the same farm in the rural south.
Here’s the official synopsis:
Set in the post-WWII South, Mudbound is an epic story of two families pitted against a barbaric social hierarchy and an unrelenting landscape as they simultaneously fight the battle at home and the battle abroad. The film is about friendship, unacknowledged heritage and the unending struggle for and against the land. Newly transplanted from the quiet civility of Memphis, the McAllan family is underprepared and overly hopeful for Henry’s grandiose farming dreams. Laura struggles to keep the faith in her husband’s losing venture, meanwhile, for Hap and Florence Jackson, whose families have worked the land for generations, every day is a losing venture as they struggle bravely to build some small dream of their own. The war upends both families’ plans as their returning loved ones, Jamie and Ronsel forge a fast, uneasy friendship that challenges them all.
Mudbound — which stars Garrett Hedlund, Jason Mitchell, Carey Mulligan, Jason Clarke, Mary J. Blige, Rob Morgan, and Jonathan Banks — premieres on Netflix and in select theaters on November 17.