Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Tye Sheridan, Jacob Lofland, Reese Witherspoon
Directed by: Jeff Nichols
Deeply reminiscient of Mark Twain's classic 'The Adventures of Tom Sawyer', 'Mud' is as heartwarming as it is heartbreaking. It's certainly taken the makers a while to release the film (it was screened at Cannes last year), but the fine performances and gorgeous visuals make it worth the wait.
What's it about?
Ellis (Tye Sheridan) and Neckbone (Jacob Lofland) have grand plans for a boat they've discovered on an island in the Mississippi river. However, they find that their boat has already been occupied by Mud (Matthew McConaughey), a filthy but harmless vagabond, who asks the boys to get him some food. Mud's charm appeals to Ellis (whose parents are going through a divorce) and he agrees to help Mud reunite with his girlfriend Juniper (Reese Witherspoon).
Matthew McConaughey looks his worst and acts his best, but the two boys, who only reach waist high, tower over him in the performances department. While Tye Sheridan as Ellis gets it right as the brooding teen, Jacob Lofland as Neckbone gets the most laughs as the Huckelberry Finn-like character with a trademark wave and material interests (think titties, a boat of his own and Mud's pistol). The camaraderie between the two boys makes for some of the film's best scenes. The other supporting characters are also a treat to watch - Ray McKinnon as Ellis' dad and Sam Shepard as Mud's father figure stand out.
Arkansas and the Mississippi river are gorgeously captured, looking idyllic and magnificient at the same time. On the flip side, if there's one thing we didn't care for, it was the climax that felt overly dramatic when compared to the rest of the proceedings.
What to do?
'Mud' is a coming-of-age film with a bittersweet aftertaste. Don't miss it.
in.com rating: 4/5
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