I don't know if I'm more hyped about Mary J. Blige's performance in Mudbound because she's the Mother-Sister of Hip Hop, because I first remember her hiding behind (but rockin' that hat with) Method Man, because she looked like a beacon on light on Oprah or just because she gave Florence Jackson everything. I mean everything.
What makes me proud of Mary is that she's slowly worked her show like only a true Capricorn could--quietly and without adding her own fanfare. She kept a low profile and always, always kept it real. It's no wonder that with Mary behind her, "Florence" was the realist. That's also because Dee Ree's directed her and Mary wasn't too much a diva to be directed.
My favorite scene other than the sweet caress of black love dancing on the front porch was Florence on that horse and buggy after Hap (Rob Morgan) nailed Pappy in that coffin. Yes, he did and Aaaaaamen! What Dee and Mary understood and most movie-goers don't is the obligation of black people at that time. If you were black in America and you didn't want to do something, too bad. So, here she is with her mutilated son in the bowels of this ship (the wagon) and her man has to stop and bury the guy that was responsible. No, he's got to stop and pray over him. Whaaatttt?!!
Florence, the woman with the womb that carried that baby carried the burden of this moment for everyone. Ev-er-y-body. When she semi-snatches that letter from a well-intentioned white man, when she had that look in her eye that we couldn't even see because she was working those shades, I wanted to jump up from my seat and run circles around the theater. Mary burned down the house in this one and I loved every minute of it.
I can't wait to see her win her Oscar.