In 2017 we’ve seen a handful of stories, in film and television, attempt to bring our country’s history of racism to the screen. Some have been pulled off with searing authenticity and urgency, like Raoul Peck’s fantastic I Am Not Your Negro, while others have failed to tackle America’s history of anti-black violence with clarity and nuance (looking at you Detroit). Dee Rees’ Mudbound is about to join that former category, a sprawling historical epic about two Mississippi Delta families, one black, one white, during the Jim Crow era.
Dee Rees’ short film Pariah debuted at the Sundance Film Festival 10 years ago, followed shortly after by her stunning 2011 debut feature of the same name, and a slew of Emmy wins for her HBO film Bessie. She’s been a talent to keep an eye on, but with Mudbound, a powerful period drama pulsing with urgency, she’s on her way to becoming a household name.
It’s 1912 and Maud Watts (Carey Mulligan), a 26-year-old mother, is working as a laundress at a London factory, the same one she’s worked at since her early teens. Like the many other women in the sweltering warehouse, Maud works a third more hours than her husband (Ben Whishaw) and the other male employees, and makes considerably less. But this is the 20th century, a time where women were expected to do no more than birth children and bring home an income to feed those children. In Suffragette, screenwriter Abi Morgan (Shame, The Iron Lady) and director Sarah Gavron take us back to that era to remind us of the fight that eventually earned women the right to vote in the U.K. in 1928.
Suffragette doesn’t look like your average historical drama or biopic, even though it checks off a few of those boxes (heavily gray British period piece starring Meryl Streep) — no, this true story of the women’s suffrage movement looks intense and stunning, and the trailer alone is enough to make you want to get up and throw a rock through a window.
Just being handsome isn’t going to get Carey Mulligan to marry you. Sorry, dudes, but such is the case in the new trailer for Far From the Madding Crowd, based on the classic novel by Thomas Hardy. Mulligan stars in the upcoming drama as the elegantly named Bathsheba Everdene (take that, Katniss), who attracts a trio of pretty suitable suitors, but here’s the thing: she’s not interested in marrying any of them.