Archive for August, 2013

Director: Jeff Nichols

Actors: Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Tye Sheridan, Sam Shepard


It was somewhere during the end of the nineties that the seed of Mud was planted in the head of director Jeff Nichols. In 2008 he wrote down the script, and in 2011 he finally started making it, without any help from any big studios.

Ellis and Neckbone, two fourteen year olds boys who live on a remote town in the Mississippi delta in Arkansas, deep in the American south. Where people hold on to a way of life that is ceasing to exist, where all metal has rusted and all wood has rotten. Nevertheless , the two boys lead careless lives, in an adventurous scenery that the Mississippi brings with it. One day they decide to go look for an abandoned boat that ended up in a tree after the latest flood, on an island in the Mississippi delta. They find the boat, but they quickly find out it isn’t as abandoned as they thought.

A man called Mud (Matthew McConaughey) is living in it. The boys’ curiousness gradually takes over from their initial distrust over this strange man who seems to be hiding, waiting for something or someone. Especially Ellis (Tye Sheridan) grows closer to Mud and helps him out. First by getting him food, later by being a go-between for Mud and his supposed girlfriend on the main land. Ellis has a naive understanding over the concept of love, which, to him only exists in a pure and never ending form. When he finds out that Mud is sort of waiting for his girl, his alliance to him becomes almost dangerously unconditional.  But Ellis is about to find out, through different events in his life, that love doesn’t always come in a fairytale-version.

Mud is a movie that with striking acting performances: a sturdy Sam Shepard, as Mr. Blankenship.  Tye Sheridan is magnificent as young Ellis. But without any doubt it is (even-though he is once again wearing a white shirt) the melancholic Matthew McConaughey, who plays the part of his life and seems to keep getting better and better. Mud is beautiful storytelling, with a tinge of the adventurousness of Tom Sawyer, it inevitably will also remind you of Stand By Me, brought together in a shade of American tristesse.