REBEL HEART

A POST-OS­CAR MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY FIGHTS FOR WHAT’S RIGHT IN FREE STATE OF JONES

Empire (UK) - - PREMIERE -

N AC­TOR’S NEXT move af­ter win­ning an Os­car is al­ways fas­ci­nat­ing. Some con­tinue to hone their craft in a string of indies, search­ing for that sec­ond golden guy. Some see it as a li­cence to have some big-bud­get fun, like Ni­co­las Cage, who made The Rock, Con Air and Face/off af­ter win­ning Best Ac­tor for Leav­ing Las Ve­gas.

The first movie Matthew Mcconaughey signed up for, Free State Of Jones, would ap­pear to be a bit of both. On the one hand it’s a pres­tige movie, writ­ten and di­rected by Gary Ross, the man who first brought The Hunger Games to the big screen. It tells the true-life story of New­ton Knight, an ex-con­fed­er­ate sol­dier who turned against his for­mer al­lies and, along with his wife Rachel (Gugu Mbatha-raw), founded a mixed-race com­mu­nity in Mis­sis­sippi.

On the other hand, it’s also got plenty of bang for its buck. “We had a re­ally well-told story that wasn’t a ro­man­tic look at his­tory. It’s not a doc­u­men­tary,” Mcconaughey has said. “It’s a re­ally ac­tion-packed, thrilling re­bel­lion story.” With a sum­mer berth in the States that sug­gests it could hold its own with the nu­mer­ous su­per­heroes and se­quels slog­ging it out in the mul­ti­plexes, and an awards-wor­thy pedi­gree, Free State Of Jones could be a bit of al­right al­right al­right. CHRIS HE­WITT

FREE STATE OF JONES IS OUT

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