Excerpt: Mud sees writer-director Jeff Nichols straining to straddle two disparate sets of genre requirements: those of the magical-realist backwoods fable and the soppy heartland melodrama. Its closest relatives are Charles Laughton's The Night of the Hunter and Elia Kazan's Wild River , but shot through with the "gritty" vision of cruddy home life and bayou listlessness of Lance Hammer's Ballast .
Excerpt: Praise must be given to actor Matthew McConaughey. He has begun to take on more challenging roles. This is a welcome change from the more disposable romantic comedies he starred in over the past several years. I enjoyed his performances in The Lincoln Lawyer, Killer Joe and The Paperboy to name a few. Here he plays the title character. Mud lives out in the woods and is waiting to reunite with an old girlfriend Juniper (Reese Witherspoon) so he can take off.
Conclusion: Jeff Nichols' 2011 film 'Take Shelter' may have been snubbed by the Academy, but there's no way that they can dismiss his new film 'Mud.' In every aspect of filmmaking – writing, directing, acting, screenplay, music, cinematography, and so on – it's superb, nearly flawless. The entire package is so impressive that I truly believe it should be written in the books as an American classic. On the surface, it's a coming-of-age tale filled with genuine characters and moments.
Conclusion: Mud gives the viewer a good performance from it's eponymous lead and what could be considered breakthrough turns by its prepubescent actors en route to one of the less than popular films so far in 2013. Technically the disc is solid on both fronts and just as good from a supplemental perspective. At the very least it is appointment viewing with an eye towards a possible purchase. What Do You Think?
Excerpt: A boat in a tree is how it starts. Left there, intact and whole by some inexplicable, inexorable force. Fans of Jeff Nichols' "Take Shelter" shouldn't be too surprised by such strange sights. Young Ellis (Tye Sheridan) and Neckbone (Jacob Lofland) aren't when they discover it during one of their daily wanderings.
Excerpt: The following conversation happened before I went to sleep last night: My wife: "Don't dream about Matthew McConaughey while you sleep." Me: "Why would I?" My wife: "I don't know, I just feel like everyone dreams about Matthew McConaughey when they sleep." I remain curious as to what would spur a mini-discussion like this on.
Excerpt: Writer-director Jeff Nichols has made a name for himself crafting complex character-driven dramas like Shotgun Stories and Take Shelter that feature smoldering performances from Michael Shannon. For his latest venture Mud , Nichols took on some new challenges, moving his reliable leading man to a supporting role, and focusing his drama on an optimistic and earnest young boy. The results are intriguing, but at times perplexing.