For 152 minutes, I laid in bed. I scrolled through my phone, tossed around trying to get comfortable, and thought about what I’d be doing at work the next day.
And I watched a movie.
Then, at the 153rd minute, my jaw dropped. My mouth hung open in the kind of way that only happens when you see or hear something that truly shocks you. I put down my phone. I sat upright. I couldn’t look away, even though I wanted to.
I wanted to hit pause. My mind wanted me to. You don’t want to see this, it pleaded. But I kept watching, because those minutes, 1:53:00 – 1:57:00, might be for what Mudbound wins its Oscar.
Listen: The period drama Mudbound has been a surprise success for Netflix with a tonne of Oscar nominations. Here’s why it’s one to watch (post continues after audio…)
It almost didn’t make it – after the film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival last year, many in Hollywood passed on the film. They said it was too long. The subject matter too dense.
Both are true. But something about the story of two men – one white, one black – returning home from World War II to work on a muddy farm in America’s south cut through. And it has everything to do with the long, dense moments that gave those four gripping minutes the space to explain why it was so important this film be seen.