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Mud

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Mud is an exercise in pure storytelling class: engrossing, uplifting and touching. The third film from writer/director Jeff Nichols (Take Shelter), Mud presents the tale of two teenage boys, Ellis and Neckbone, who find a reclusive hermit named Mud (Matthew McConaughey) hiding out on an island in the backwaters of the Mississippi river.

Describing his involvement in a series of incredible scenarios and claims that vengeful bounty hunters are coming to get him, Mud dazzles the young boys into helping plan a daring escape with the love of his life, Juniper (a great reserved turn by Reese Witherspoon), who is waiting for his signal in town.

Co-starring Sarah Paulson, Michael Shannon and Sam Shepard, Mud was nominated for the Palme d’Or at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. Nichols injects the simple narrative with shades of To Kill a Mockingbird and the works of Mark Twain; fully exploring the coming of age overtones present within the work, along with commenting on the nature of greed and the economic woes facing the world today.

A slow burn, the film works on its own temporal pattern; drawing viewers into Mud’s slowly decaying world – which proves to be an effective metaphor from the twilight of Ellis and Neckbone’s childhood idealism.

Along with a marvelous performance by McConaughey as the eponymous Mud, the film features choice music cuts from Dirty Three, which further cement the film’s somber tone and the protagonist’s listless inertia. Mud is a film with experience to be savoured.

Mud is now in limited release nationally.


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