I was invited to attend a screening of The Free State of Jones in exchange for this review. All thoughts and opinions are all mine.
Why is a healthy lifestyle blogger like myself, who mostly posts about healthy food and organic items, posting a review of Civil War movie? Well, because it’s more than just a Civil War movie and living a healthy lifestyle reaches just beyond foods and products.
Taking a few moments for yourself and enjoying a good movie is good for you. Whether it’s a romantic comedy that has you belly laughing or an adventure film that has you on the edge of your seats, spending a few hours escaping into another time and place can be good for the soul.
Free State of Jones ~ Matthew McConaughey’s New Movie
First I want to let you know that this movie is Rated R, mostly, if not all because of the realities of war and the gun fighting. Although this is not a movie I suggest taking the whole family to, as an adult, I do recommend it.
Yesterday I had the opportunity to go to an early showing of the new Matthew McCondaughy movie, Free State of Jones. I had watched the trailer and a interview done with the directors and actors of the film a few days before, so I was excited to see how it all played out on film.
I am not a history buff by any means and only know the basic facts of the Civil War, so please know that this review is simply from the point of a Not So Perfect Housewife and that’s all. I can not tell you if it’s historically accurate or where the history was embellished to make the film look better, but I can tell you what I honestly thought about the film.
Be Ready For The Reality of War
The Free State of Jones does not waste any time in letting you know that war is not for the meek. Within the first 5 to 10 minutes the Civil War battle erupts right before your eyes. To some it may be a bit too much (I did look away a few times), but even though I have never been in battle myself, I have a feeling that the directors didn’t take any liberities when it came to showing the rawness of what the Civil War was like.
Without going into a lot of details, I will just say that, although at times it is hard to watch, the beginning of the film does an excellent job in showing you the heart of Newton Knight and why he sets out, driven with a passion and purpose in the way he does.
A Man of Character
Beyond the defiant, rebellious southern farmer exterior that is shown in Newton Knight, lies a man of deep faith and conviction that no child of God is owned by anyone. That fighting a war so that others may own slaves is not honorable and that sitting on the side lines and doing nothing out of fear is unthinkable.
I was deeply moved by a few scenes in the movie that showed Newton Knights strong faith in God. I truly appreciated the fact that the directors of this film didn’t shy away from this or condense into a small belief. They allowed scripture to be read and words of faith to be spoken that allowed the audience to see that it wasn’t just a religion of Newton Knight, it was a belief and faith that made him who he was.
A Fitting Time For This Film
Although our country isn’t at war with each other like it was during the Civil War, I came away from this film thinking that it being released at this time is very fitting.
There are still racial issues today that unfortunately divide our country, yet I hope that it’s films like Free State of Jones that will speak loudly and get people thinking. Reminding us of the mistakes of our past and encouraging individuals to stand up, have faith, and make a difference for the future.
From the Studios
Directed by four-time Oscar® nominee Gary Ross (The Hunger Games, Seabiscuit, Pleasantville), and starring Oscar® winner Matthew McConaughey, FREE STATE OF JONES is an epic action-drama set during the Civil War, and tells the story of defiant Southern farmer, Newt Knight, and his extraordinary armed rebellion against the Confederacy. Banding together with other small farmers and local slaves, Knight who believed that, no one can own a child of God, launched an uprising that led Jones County, Mississippi to secede from the Confederacy, creating a Free State of Jones. Knight continued his struggle into Reconstruction, distinguishing him as a compelling, if controversial, figure of defiance long beyond the War.
Matthew McConaughey, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Mahershala Ali, Keri Russell