Saturday, April 27, 2013


Movie Name: Mud
Year of Release: 2012
Director: Jeff Nichols
Stars: Tye Sheridan, Jacob Lofland, Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Sam Shepard, Sarah Paulson, Michael Shannon, Ray McKinnon, Paul Sparks, Joe Don Baker, Bonnie Sturdivant, Johnny Cheek
Genre: Drama
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 8

Jeff Nichols' follow up to the critically acclaimed "Take Shelter", is another fantastically achieved film, that drinks directly from classic American novels (and authors as Mark Twain) and from his own knowledge of rural America. The film follows the lives of two young boys, sensitive and smart Ellis, and his best friend, Neckbone. Both boys discover a stranded boat on an island and much to their surprise find a man living in it. They come to know him as Mud, who is waiting to meet up with his girlfriend, Juniper. Ellis, going through troubled times at home, befriends Mud, and starts bringing food and acting as a messenger between the two lovers. Ellis and Neckbone eventually hear Mud's story and how he found himself deserted in that small island. His story ends up being a catalyst in Ellis' life.
Jeff Nichols' "Mud" is a beautiful story about growing up and how young children cope with their primal fears - the disintegration of their family, the lack of love and growing up. The director beautifully captures the life of people living by the river, coping with difficulties and hardship. The main hero of the story, the young Ellis, is a young boy who believes in the purity of love, and in the goodness of people. Mud for him represents an ideal of someone who fights for his love and to protect someone he cherishes, something he sees slowly fading away in the relationship between his parents. The film has hints of Mark Twain's "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer", but it has an identity of it's own. Jeff Nichols' also benefits from a terrific cast, from the veterans Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon and Michael Shannon, to the newcomers Tye Sheridan and Jacob Lofland. The cinematography from Adam Stone is equally beautiful. A stunning film not to be missed.