When Netflix revealed its list of new content coming to the streaming service in November of 2022, it didn’t include the 2022 feature film Where the Crawdads Sing, but the controversial movie is now streaming on the platform anyway! The sudden arrival of the movie, based on the best-selling novel by Delia Owens and starring Daisy Edgar-Jones, can be attributed to the deal Netflix previously made with Sony Pictures. Thanks to this agreement, Netflix has the first streaming rights for Sony Pictures movies after they’ve been released in theaters and on home video, which saw movies like Uncharted and Morbius come to Netflix.
The sudden arrival of Where the Crawdads Sing on Netflix, the first thing we noticed when logging on to the streamer, has been a welcome new addition to their stable of movies for many viewers. Subscribers were surprised by the film becoming available without any fanfare, any many are already watching it to get a good cry in. “Where the Crawdads Sing is a beautiful movie and i look forward to the day i can watch it without crying for two hours straight,” one user wrote, another added: “Felt like a good crying movie. Where the Crawdads Sing filled the bill.”
Why is Where the Crawdads Sing controversial?
All controversy surrounding Where the Crawdads Sing has more to do with the source material, Delia Owens novel which has sold over 15 million copies, than the movie; but being an adaptation of that text has naturally also drawn the ire of some because it maintains many of its issues. In large part, Crawdads has been criticized by many for its stereotypical portrayal of its black characters, of which there are only two despite its Deep South setting. This however has bene overshadowed by the controversy within its plot.
In short, the narrative of Crawdads centers on a young girl that lives along in North Carolina and is on trial for the murder of a star football player. The “did she or didn’t she” of the plot is a major focal point, and for some has an eerily similarity to the author’s real life. According to reports, including a major write-up on the subject in The Atlantic, author Delia Owens is wanted for questioning in the murder of a man from her time in Zambia. Owens is not a suspect in the matter, but the similarities have many people scratching their heads anyway.
What is Where the Crawdads Sing about?
Sony Pictures’ official synopsis of the film says that it follows the story of Kya, an abandoned girl who raised herself to adulthood in the dangerous marshlands of North Carolina. For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” haunted Barkley Cove, isolating the sharp and resilient Kya from her community. Drawn to two young men from town, Kya opens herself to a new and startling world; but when one of them is found dead, she is immediately cast by the community as the main suspect. As the case unfolds, the verdict as to what actually happened becomes increasingly unclear, threatening to reveal the many secrets that lay within the marsh.
Daisy Edgar-Jones (Fresh, Under the Banner of Heaven) stars as Kya in the film, appearing alongside Taylor John Smith (Sharp Objects) as Tate Walker, Harris Dickinson (The King’s Man) as Chase Andrews, Michael Hyatt (Snowfall) as Mabel, Sterling Macer, Jr. (Double Down) as Jumpin’, and David Strathairn (Nomadland) as Tom Milton. Olivia Newman directed the project from a script by Lucy Alibar (Beasts of the Southern Wild). The 3000 Pictures film was produced by Reese Witherspoon and Lauren Neustadter. The film also notably featured an original song, “Carolina,” written and performed by Taylor Swift.