The nominations are for Best Adapted Screenplay (Virgil Williams and Dee Rees), Best Original Song ("Mighty River" by Mary J. Blige, Raphael Saadiq, and Laura Stinson), Best Supporting Actress (Blige), and Best Achievement in Cinematography (Rachel Morrison).
This is the first time ever that a woman has been nominated for cinematography, that a black woman has been nominated in the Best Adapted category, and that an actor has been nominated for a performance in a film directed by a black woman. Additionally, Blige is the first person in Oscar history to be nominated for a performance and an original song.
The ceremony will be on Sunday, March 4. Fingers, toes, & eyes crossed for these talented folks!
When Mudbound was optioned six years ago by producers Sally Jo and Carl Effenson, and Virgil Williams began writing the script, I hardly dared to dream it would become a reality. Today, the film is finally streaming on Netflix and playing in 17 theaters around the country. Virgil, director and co-writer Dee Rees, the cast, the crew, and the producers gave their heart and soul to make this exquisite film, and it shows in every frame. The author couldn't be prouder.
After garnering raves at the Toronto, London, Mill Valley, New Orleans, and New York Film Festivals, "Mudbound" is making its final appearance before its November 17 Netflix premiere at the AFI Fest, where it will kick off the festival. The screening will be in Hollywood at the TLC Chinese Theatre (aka Grauman's) on November 9 at 7:30 pm, and I will be in attendance!
NPR book reporter Lynn Neary, who interviewed me about Mudbound when it came out in 2008, asked me to weigh in on "sensitivity readers" who vet books written about people from other cultures for possible statements or situations that might be offensive. A needed expertise or censorship? Here's my two cents.
I was thrilled to learn today that Mudbound will soon add Czech, Dutch, German, Chinese Simplified, and Portuguese (Portugal and Brazil) to its list of translations. I was especially pleased about the German news, since the sequel I'm working on, Fatherlands, is set there. So far, Mudbound has been published in French, Italian, Serbian, Norwegian, and Swedish.