Sunday, June 26, 2016
FREE STATE OF JONES
You've probably already heard that this film is about a rebellion within a rebellion, when an entire county, and more, in the Southern most part of the state of Mississippi fought against the Confederacy during The Civil War and managed to win for a while. But it's about so much more as well and goes far to correct the old Hollywood movie myths about the noble cause and the romantic South etc.
It's great story and the movie adheres to most of the actual facts, which makes it even more compelling. It's director and co-writer, Gary Ross, was humble enough to spend many years studying the history of not only the man who led the rebellion, Newton Knight, but of the Civil War, Reconstruction, and Mississippi, before writing the script.
And the cast is perfect, with some of my favorite movie actors, including McConaughey, the too often underused Keri Russell, and the amazing Gugu Mbatha-Raw (check out her performance in BELLE, one of my favorite films, also based on a true story that makes a history lesson dramatically enlightening and engagingly sexy). Relative newcomer to movies, Mahersala Ali's performance in FREE STATE OF JONES is worth the price of admission alone.
I highly recommend watching this in a theater on a big screen, because the battle and crowd scenes, and even the intimate scenes, are so beautifully shot and lit and art directed that you'll want to get the full effect only the big screen can deliver.