|Posted by Jonathan Leithold-Patt on April 30, 2013 at 12:30 AM|
IDEA: Two boys come across a mysterious man living on an island in the middle of the Mississippi, and vow to help him escape - and reconnect him with his former lover.
BLURB: Mud is a mixture of dirt and water, solid and liquid, one belonging to the ground and the other forever flowing in variable patterns. It’s a fitting title for this earthy, elemental film, a coming-of-age story wrapped in the muggy air of the American South, a milieu where the only property more mucky than the pervasive sludge proves to be family. Nichols does a superior job at evoking a sense of place filled with textures and shades, and his script, a remarkably thorough, rich piece of character writing, is reminiscent of a novel in its detail. What the director does best of all, though, is putting us inside the mind of a child growing up among ramshackle relationships and fractured genealogies, giving us a heartbreaking sense of how those conditions help shape a brittle psychology. Tye Sheridan is simply beguiling as the boy, Ellis, while Matthew McConaughey, his complicated idol/surrogate, compliments him in a poignant relationship that becomes the heart and soul of the movie. Theirs is a constant push and pull between idealism and reality, trust and apprehension, comfort and fear, traits bound like mud in the depths of the mighty Mississippi.