This is the kind of movie that the Oscars love to recognize, and it's a pretty sure bet that the only reason it wasn't nominated for Best Picture is because Netflix bought the distribution rights. When that happened, the film was instantly reduced to the status of a TV MOVIE, and in the eyes of Hollywood, there is no greater shame. But it is definitely a higher caliber film than many of the 2017 Best Picture nominees. It boasts a powerful story, outstanding performances, beautiful cinematography, and timely subject matter. It tells the story of two families - one white, one black - who are working the same plot of land in the Mississippi Delta post-WWII. And while they both struggle, their experiences are drastically different. The film shows with absolutely clarity how slavery did not end when the 13th amendment was passed. This story takes place 80 years after that, and the only thing that had changed was the name - instead of calling them "slaves", they were now "tenant farmers". And it's clear who the masters are (Spoiler Alert! It isn't the black family). This movie is heavy and serious and hard to watch, but you can't deny its power. The performances are great all around (while Mary J Blige's performance was perfectly fine, it wasn't nearly remarkable enough to justify her Oscar nomination). The standouts are Garrett Hedlund and Jason Mitchell, who play two young men from each family who form an unlikely friendship. Their relationship feels so pure and genuine, it breaks your heart when things inevitably go bad for them. My biggest complaint about the film is its over-reliance on voice-over narration, which is this sort of a surreal, stream-of-consciousness internal monologue. It's supposed to make you feel like you're in the characters' heads, but it was a little off-putting for me - it made me feel like I was watching a 2-hour 'Obsession' commercial. Other than that, it's a great movie that should get more recognition, not only for its diversity (female director, co-writers, and cinematographer), but based on its own merits as a film.