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Entries in Jason Clarke (10)

Monday
Nov272017

The Furniture: Building a Way out of Mudbound

"The Furniture," by Daniel Walber, is our weekly series on Production Design. You can click on the images to see them in magnified detail. 

“I dreamed in brown,” remembers Laura McAllan (Carey Mulligan), surveying the near-monochrome dirt of a Mississippi farm. This small pocket of land is owned by her husband, Henry (Jason Clarke), but one doesn’t get much of a sense that she’d call it home. He appears not to like it either, but is motivated by a sour sense of duty. Perhaps this is why his agricultural efforts fail, barely introducing any green into this expanse of brown.

Even more obvious, when it comes to metaphors, is the way Mudbound begins. Dee Rees opens her earthbound epic on Henry in the dirt, digging a grave. The deceased is his Pappy (Jonathan Banks), an acrimonious Klan member who has done his utmost to pass his ideology down to his sons. It’s largely worked on Henry. Jamie (Garrett Hedlund) resists, but still winds up digging in the mud.

 

At the bottom of this new ditch, Henry finds a skull. It’s a “slave’s grave,” he declares; he can tell by the bullet-hole. It’s a hint at an old story, one that Rees knows she needn’t bother put into words...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Oct202017

The Epic and Crowded "Mudbound"

by Murtada

About halfway into Mudbound, the new film from Dee Rees (Pariah), the matriarch of a family of landowners in the Mississippi Delta Laura Mcallan (Carey Mulligan) offers a maid job to Florence (Mary J Blige), whose family are land tenants of Laura's husband Henry (Jason Clarke). The offer comes after Florence had been forced to leave her own family for a few days to help Laura with her sick young daughters. It is a startling offer that comes out of nowhere and Florence isn't given an option to accept or refuse, but rather told it’s been decided to hire her.

However before the audience can process the audacity of Laura’s offer and Florence’s resignation, we are immediately pulled into a combat battle in WWII where Henry’s brother (Garrett Hedlund) and Florence’s oldest son (Jason Mitchell) have enlisted. Herein lies Mudbound's dilemma...

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Friday
Mar102017

Love is complicated for Keira Knightley

by Murtada

It seems that Jason Clarke has cornered the market on playing husbands whose wives look elsewhere in 2017. That is one of the plot threads of the Sundance hit Mudbound where Carey Mulligan plays his wife, who has eyes for his brother played by Garrett Hedlund. And now in the The Aftermath he’s a British colonel in Germany right after WWII, whose wife (Keira Knightley) forms a bond with the German widower (Alexander Skarsgård) who used to own the house they now live in. The film just finished shooting in Prague under the helm of James Kent (Testament to Youth). It might appear on the fall festival circuit.

Knightley was seen this week in London shooting scenes for that Love Actually sequel we’ve been hearing so much about...

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Friday
Jan202017

Sundance 2017: Mudbound

There’s usually a film every year that premieres at Sundance and goes on to do very well at the Oscars, almost a year later. Think Brooklyn (2015), Whiplash (2014), Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012) and Precious (2009). This year it could be Captain Fantastic, but most definitely will be Manchester by the Sea. And next year it could be Dee Rees's Mudbound...

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Thursday
Apr282016

A Deluge of Kennedys

Murtada here. Within the next two years, there will be three movies about The Kennedys. They seem to be as fascinating to filmmakers as the British Royal family. Even less famous members of the family are now subjects of movies.

Diana (2013) was both a car crash and framed its story by a notorious car crash. Now it's time for the Kennedys' own notorious car crash. Announced this week is Chappaquiddick with Jason Clarke as Ted Kennedy. The film tell the story of 1969 tragic car accident that involved Ted and took the life of teacher and political campaigner Mary Jo Kopechne. How Ted handled the aftermath - leaving the scene, waiting hours to report it - led of course to the end of any presidential aspirations he might have had. The film will be directed by John Curran, who previously directed The Painted Veil (2006) and Tracks (2013).

The very busy Emma Stone - currently being Billie Jean King - is set to play another JFK sibling, the lesser-known eldest sister Rose Marie “Rosemary” Kennedy in Letters from Rosemary. Joseph and Rose Kennedy’s first born was lobotomised at the age of 23 after developing violent mood swings that embarrassed her famous family. The film is reportedly about the events leading up to the lobotomy and its aftermath. We assume this might be a project that will not be popular within the family. Not that they would ever comment about any of the many projects about them. Royals don’t do that!

The first project we will likely see though is Pablo Larrain’s Jackie about the immediate aftermath of JFK’s assassination. Once earmarked for Darren Aronofsky and Rachel Weisz, it now stars Natalie Portman as Jackie and Peter Sarsgaard as Bobby. Aronofsky remains a producer. Production pictures have been released months ago, so we assume it’s in post production and might appear on the fall festival circuit. Sarsgaard’s hair seems wrong, although Portman’s costumes are spot on. Jackie tackles much covered territory, what more could be added to those often discussed few days? The other two projects are about more obscure chapters in the family history, which could mean they might be more interesting.

Still that’s just way too many projects about one rich and powerful family. There’s even an upcoming sequel to the 2011 miniseries The Kennedys, with Matthew Perry as Ted and Katie Holmes reprising her Jackie. I’m already exhausted, are you?

Thursday
Mar242016

Carey Mulligan to work with Dee Rees

Murtada here. Carey Mulligan is continuing her quest to collaborate with the most interesting directors. After Luhrmann, the Coens, McQueen, Refn and Vinterberg, it’s time for Dee Rees (Pariah, HBO’s Bessie). The two are planning to work on an adaptation of Hillary Jordan’s 2009 novel Mudbound. Rees will write and direct, Jason Clarke, Garrett Hedlund and Straight Outta Compton’s standout Jason Mitchell will co-star.

Despite what Mulligan claimed her agent told her after watching Suffragette (2015); 'Darling, you're lovely in it, but blue jeans film next”, it’s another period piece. Although this time it’s set post WWII in Jim Crow’s South. Mulligan will play a city bred woman who is trying to raise her children on her husband's Mississippi Delta cotton farm, and her entanglements with two soldiers returning home from the war - one of them is white and her brother-in-law, and the other is black, a son of the sharecroppers who live on the farm. The story deals with among other things the extreme racial prejudice of that era. We assume Clarke is the husband, Hedlund the brother-in-law and Mitchell is the other soldier.

Carey should have no problem this time since she's not working with a man

It is an exciting collaboration since Rees proved a distinctive cinematic voice with Pariah and that she had an eye for period drama with Bessie. Mulligan is always fascinating on screen, although perhaps she hasn’t quite yet found a film that allowed her to soar as high as she did on stage last year in Skylight. And it’s nice to see Mitchell get a chance to capitalize on his impressive breakout. The project is in early stages and hasn’t secured full financing yet so lets hope it sticks.

Has anyone read the novel? Should we be excited?