Two lads come across a man hiding out on an island on the Mississippi.
the man says he is waiting for someone, then telling them it's a long
lost love who lives in the nearby town on the mainland.
He's soon asking them to bring him food and parts to help him get the
boat which is currently lodged in a tree, working.
The man tells the boys to call him 'Mud'(Mathew McConaughey)
The boys soon realize that their new friend is on the run and attracting the
attention of both the law and bounty hunters.
'Ellis'(Tye Sheridan) and 'Neckbone' (Jacob Lofland) form a trusting friendship with the stranger and
try to help the man they now know as 'Mud'
Who is this man ? what crime has he committed ?
This for me is the best role I've seen 'Matthew McConaughey play...so far.
a film that tells of trust, truth, fantasy and friendship, a touching tale,
well worthy of a viewing.
on 17 August 2013
A coming-of-age story, set on the banks of the Mississippi River, that manages to be both thrilling and spiritually profound. Two adventurous Arkansas boys, Ellis (Tye Sheridan) and Neckbone (Jacob Lofland), discover a dilapidated boat wedged high up in a tree on a small island. Setting their sights on making it their own, their plans are scuppered when they meet the mysterious Mud (Matthew McConaughey), a heavily superstitious fugitive with crosses nailed in his boots and a winding snake inked on his arm, who is living in the boat. He is back in town to reconnect with his true love, Juniper (Reese Witherspoon). Ellis feels an immediate kinship with him and his quest, and the boys set about helping fix up the boat. As his parents' relationship suffers at home, and Mud's dark past resurfaces, Ellis's life begins to change irreversibly as he takes his first tentative steps away from childhood.
Mud may be the titular character but this is very much his and Ellis's story - two naive romantics who believe in love in the purest, traditional way and as a result suffer in its volatile hands. McConaughey is remarkable, emanating an eerie tranquillity that masks a burning anger - every second he's on screen, time seems to slow to the speed of his protracted metrical speech. Despite his enormous presence, it's the performance of young Tye Sheridan that really stands out for its naturalism and impressive range. Every emotion that courses through him has an intense authenticity, making every experience we share thoroughly moving.
This is a sentimental film that touches on melodrama, and isn't as nuanced as it may initially appear - but is no less worthy or absorbing because of it. The quiet contemplation of the first half is transformed into something of a more traditional thriller which ultimately delivers a degree of accessibility and satisfaction that a more subtle denouement wouldn't offer. Visually `Mud' is flawless, capturing the natural scenery and earthy characters with incredibly beautiful shots - pulsating with a feeling of time and place, part 21st century, but all organic and untamed, with men and boys who don't just live on the river, they're part of it. `Mud' is a deeply affecting look at the confusion and heartbreak of young love told as a timeless piece of rural Americana, drawing on the classic traditions of Mark Twain. A lyrical odyssey as enduring as the river that forms its setting.
There is a hypnotized fairy-tale side to “Mud”, a coming of age story, which centres around two boys of rural Arkansas - Ellis and his friend Neckbone. The boys find a man named Mud hiding out on an island in the Mississippi. The mysterious Mud tells elaborate stories of vengeful killings and love of a lifetime. Dubious but fascinated, and very much into the stories of a romantic knight fighting for his one true love, Ellis and Neckbone agree to help him. Growing up in the process.
“Mud” is a small scale, character driven production, which could feel too slow, thoughtful and broody. Slow does not mean boring, it just means you need to be in the right type of mood for “Mud” to fully enjoy the slow-burning storytelling.
And seriously, the whole love-story business between Mud and Juniper – not very believable. I was convinced when Ellis had his heart broken.
on 6 July 2014
An excellent film!!! I didn't know they still made 'em like this! Absolutely brilliant. Fantastic story with a really good cast. The best film I have seen in years.
on 21 January 2015
This film is a great example that Hollywood can indeed make great, intelligent films with nuance. I recently watched Birdman, which is an intelligent film in its own right but is clearly influenced by the theatre - that's not a bad thing, but many of the modern greats have a 'theatricality' to them (think 'Gosford Park' or 'American Beauty'). So it's nice to see a film that explores particular themes and ideas without being tied to sets or being divided into a rigid three-act structure.
Mud explores the ideas of love and friendship, as seen through the eyes of two 14 year-olds. It's simultaneously heart-warming and wrenching to see how the people around them help shape their idea as they themselves were shaped by love and betrayal.
Mud isn't a fast-paced film but neither is it 'talky' - there's a lot to explore here (and much that may be missed by casual viewers) but it's also highly accessible. Lastly, this is probably my favourite McConaughy performance including Dallas Buyer's Club.
on 24 December 2014
This film is pure cinematic story telling at its best.
Unlike all the modern films, drama series and arty farty stuff today this film works because it has beginning, middle and an end.
You know when you were at school and you had to write an essay and you’d start off all enthusiastic but by the third or fourth page you have had enough so you ended up just writing “and then I woke up and it was all a dream”. Well too many modern films and dramas these days are just like that.
I mean you spend weeks following a drama on TV, you get hooked on the story, sucked into every character and griped by the plot. Only to be dropped like a stone into a pool of total disappointment in the last episode. You know, it ends and all you can say is "What .. what happened". If you want an example then I suggest you watch the BBC’s The missing.
Mud is a proper film. Loved it.
Mud (Matthew McConaughey - The Lincoln Lawyer) is an outlaw living on an island in the bayou of the Mississippi. When two local boys, Ellis & Neck-bone show up to investigate a beached boat, stuck high in a tree, Mud finds two allies to help him in his reparations. He needs to get in contact with his sweetheart Juniper (Reese Witherspoon) to make good his escape, but with bounty-hunters hot on his crucifix-marked heels, will Mud manage to make it out?
Mud is a simply brilliant film, containing many components of a coming of age film for the excellent Tye Sheridan and Jacob Lofland, their friendship and wariness of Mud is affable, tangible and resultantly believable. For two young lads to be such capable actors is a feat in itself. The boat serves as an excellent metaphor for resurrection, getting Mud back out there, refloating him from his washed-up situation. There is beautiful symbolism to this film; the boys approaching the neck of the river, mirrored by the men approaching the sea for example. The director Jeff Nichols (Take Shelter) has used the natural beauty of the Arkansas delta to perfect effect and Michael Shannon (also from Take Shelter and the higher-profile Man of Steel) also makes an appearance as Neck-Bone's mussel-diving uncle.
Audio commentary with Writer and Director Jeff Nichols,
A Very Personal Tale: Writing and Directing Mud featurette,
The Arkansas Ensemble: The Distinctive Characters and Cast of Mud featurette
Southern Authenticity: Shooting the Real Arkansas featurette
The Snake Pit: The Slithering Costars of Mud featurette
There is a digital copy of the film included with this disc - with Ultraviolet codings (UV is a digital locker for your media, you have to register an account and upload your unique product code, but then you can stream it or download it anywhere on the planet on any medium).
It's been a long old slog back to respectability for Matthew McConaughey but his role in Mud will serve to remind anyone of his incredible capacity for acting, really working an entire emotional range and really invoking compassion for his character. This simple every-man Southern-U.S. tale deserves a lot more acclaim that it received in my opinion. I was transfixed by Mud and really, really recommend this film.
on 9 July 2013
Mud is a movie of unexpected pleasures; both the boys are outstanding; Reese Witherspoon is great (although not quite as fabolous as Nicole Kidman in the Paperboy); Mcconaughey is once again excellent; the scenery and cinematography are a pleasure and the story is wistful, uplifting, real, sad, shocking, funny and everything else you could wish it to be. We drove 40 miles to see it at the cinema and it was worth every minute of the trip. Settle back and enjoy the show.
on 25 September 2013
Jeff Nichols' follow up to the impressive Take Shelter is a triumph in many respects. Similar in tone, and set against the alluring backdrop of rural Mississippi, the film swallows us in from the very opening movement which sees our two young leads Ellis and Neckbone heading off on a small, rusting motorboat in the hopes of finding the speedboat that Neckbone's uncle (Shannon) says has been left up in a tree by a huge flood. Combine such a setting with some truly beautiful and melty cinematography by Adam Stone, and we have the template for something special.
Matthew McConaughey's career has been something of a punchline for many a joke over the years, and often with good reason what with his shirtlessly starring in so many generic romcoms, but there's no denying he's made a massive step in changing that image recently by not only taking on far more challenging and complex roles, but by doing them really well. Who would have guessed a few years ago that he'd be leading Scorsese and Nolan pictures? He could have just taken the easy road and picked up quick paycheck after paycheck, but instead he decided that the acting and respect was more important, and he did something about it. That's to be admired and applauded. In this case, as the titular Mud, he continues this resurgence by playing on the ambiguity of the character with a really hypnotic and almost mystical performance, and creates so much empathy towards him despite the narrative allowing as much reason to dislike him as like him. It's one of those effortless performances that just sells the character.
Yet, as great as McConaughey is, it's the two young boys who completely steal the show. They are both just fantastic. Despite the title of the thing, it's their story, and I don't think the filmmakers could have found two better young actors if they tried. Amazingly, this is only Tye Sheridan's second shot at acting (his first coming in the divisive The Tree Of Life) and Jacob Lofland's first, but they both look as though they've been doing it for years. Lofland is the comedian, providing the film with the majority of the well-rationed laughs with enviable nonchalance, but Sheridan's performance in particular, so emotionally-charged and fragile, is what will take your breath away. Both of these boys are ones to watch out for.
Other big names pop up in smaller roles, such as Reese Witherspoon, Sam Shepard and Michael Shannon, who previously worked with Nichols in aforementioned Take Shelter. They're all great, but Michael Shannon is a bit underused. It's nothing to do with the character being underwritten, I just think if you have someone as great as Shannon you have to use him more.
There's a whole section of the plot that inspects Mud's past and what led him to the island, which is fine, and mostly very interesting, but part of that turns into this sort of action movie revenge subplot. While the film is always gripping, it begins to interest me less when it veers off into that vendetta territory - even if it provides a quite thrilling climax. There's nothing particularly bad about it, I just think the rest of the film has built such a wonderfully powerful character-driven story that by that point I'm not really in the mood to see shooting and explosions - I'm more interested in the people talking.
And if there's one other squib, it's the song that plays over the end credits. It tries to do that Tarantino juxtaposing thing where the film ends one way, then a music track kicks in with a completely different tone, but it just doesn't work in this instance. The final scene, at the risk of giving away spoilers, is relaxing and meditative, but then a strangely hyper song kicks in which frustratingly jolted me out of the moment. It's no comment on the film itself, it's just a strange creative choice.
However, back to the good stuff, this is gripping, profound and enigmatic filmmaking. McConaughey continues his career resurgence in alluring fashion while Nichols continues to impress behind camera, but it is two absolutely fantastic performances from young Sheridan and Lofland that make this such an impressive piece of work. See it.
on 15 September 2013
I adored Mud, after seeing it a second time it was even more wonderful and spell-binding and may just take home my film of the year title. Perhaps it was the strong sense of nostalgia of me and old pals growing up, that it brought about my eagerness to fall in love with the movie or perhaps it was just the elegance, grace and sheer beauty of the way it was shot and acted.
One thing is for sure, with Take Shelter and now this, Jeff Nicholls the director is a raw beast of a film maker who creates sophisticated and mesmerizing stories out of simple themes, but all the while keeping one eye on things being cinematic and entertaining.
McConaughey plays a mysterious drifter - the eponymous Mud who strikes up an allegiance with two preteen boys named Ellis (Tye Sheridan) and Neckbone (Jacob Lofland) after they expose his whereabouts near their Arkansas hometown. Initially a mythic individual, it turns out he's merely biding his time until he can reunite with his true-love, Juniper (Reese Witherspoon),
Yes, thats right..Reece Witherspoon and Matthew McConaughey together in a film that isn't strictly a romantic comedy. Now theres a shock!
The main themes surround the boys as they encounter love at all ends of its mysterious spectrum..a learning curve that many of us can appreciate from our adolescence. Tye Sheridan is a fine child actor and is in almost every scene, lets hope he does not stray down the McCauley Culkin path.
Mud is an exceptional film with a great cast including a dazzling performance from the main kid who falls under Mud's mystique and raw charm, and a pace that may deem too leisurely for those who confuse deliberate with boring. If there are some flaws it is with the inconsistencies with how it wraps up..i mean how did the bad guys know he..well i wont spoil anything. A slow burner with perhaps one too many signposts maybe but given patience you will be rewarded with an adult take on the strains of growing up.