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Free State of Jones review – Matthew McConaughey rages through civil war

This audacious, visceral, beautifully shot story of a real-life outlaw in Louisiana’s swamps is one to watch out for in awards season

Matthew McConaughey stars in this startling, fiercely violent, superbly photographed and structurally audacious civil war drama, directed by Gary Ross. McConaughey plays the real-life Confederate soldier Newton Knight, who leads a band of deserters and runaway slaves to form a Robin-Hood outlaw group in the Louisiana swamp and attempts to make Jones county secede from Mississippi and the confederacy to form the “free state of Jones”. He allies himself with slave Moses (Mahershala Ali), marries freed woman Rachel (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) and after the war takes a lead on democratic reform: this legendary figure has already been the subject of a 1948 movie, Tap Roots, with Van Heflin and Susan Hayward.

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See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

‘Free State of Jones’ Review: Matthew McConaughey’s Civil War Story Has No Guts, No ‘Glory’

‘Free State of Jones’ Review: Matthew McConaughey’s Civil War Story Has No Guts, No ‘Glory’
Hate — as no one reading this needs to be reminded — clings for life to this country like a cat with its claws sunk into the side of a space shuttle as it screams towards the stratosphere. So while the inert, inelegant and (wait for it) somewhat problematic “Free State of Jones” may not be a valuable contribution to the canon of American historical epics, the shapelessness of its story is worth celebrating for how palpably it conveys the tenacity of prejudice.

In the wake of emancipation, a nefarious “apprenticeship” system is enacted in order to resume the tradition of slavery by another name; from the ruins of the Confederate Army, the Ku Klux Klan rises up to lynch a race of newly liberated citizens. And all the while, a brusque and bearded Matthew McConaughey rides against injustice from deep within the swampy heart of Mississippi, punctuating a half-century of historical
See full article at Indiewire »

Matthew McConaughey & Gary Ross Mount Civil War Saga; Bob Simonds’ Stx In Talks To Finance

Matthew McConaughey & Gary Ross Mount Civil War Saga; Bob Simonds’ Stx In Talks To Finance
Exclusive: Matthew McConaughey and writer-director Gary Ross are the catalysts for a project called Free State Of Jones, which is getting some serious attention from Stx Entertainment, the new mini-studio founded by investors Tpg Growth, Gigi Pritzker, Hony and Robert Simonds. We hear that company reps, financial partner Im Global (who is handling foreign), and the filmmakers are heading to Afm this afternoon to discuss pre-sales. This is one of many projects Stx is considering pushing through as part of its first slate. They are looking to go before the cameras in the first quarter of 2015.

Free State Of Jones is based on the untold and extraordinary story of Newton Knight, the leader of one of the greatest rebellions in Civil War history, and we hear that Stx may finance (up to $20M) for the $65M-budgeted story of one of the most controversial men from the that era. McConaughey is
See full article at Deadline Movie News »

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