First things first, I cannot start this review without admitting that I found it difficult to follow what the characters were saying in the movie. This is not because there was some horrible audio problem, but mainly due to the the thick southern accents.
Mud is a well written and beautifully shot movie. It is written and directed by Jeff Nichols, one of the most talented directors still hidden from mainstream audiences.
The character named Mud (Matthew McConaughey) isn’t even the central focus throughout the movie. Ellis (Tye Sheridan), a 14 year old boy, is the main character throughout the movie. Much of the movie is about Ellis and his friend Neckbone (Jacob Lofland) trying to helpMud reunite with Juniper (Reese Witherspoon).
The acting in this movie is top notch, which is absolutely critical in this type of movie.
In Mud, the characters and their relationship with women are highlighted in a way that I have not seen before. Ellis believes in love, and when he meets Mud and hears his story (A very optimistic one to say the least), it strengthens his belief even more. But, by the end of the movie, Ellis’s faith in love will be tested and he will realize that nothing is as simple and permanent as he first thought them to be.
Mud is a killer, but not a bad guy. Juniper loves Mud, but makes a surprising choice. All the while, Ellis’s parents are splitting up and it’s weighing heavy on him.
The movie starts out with Ellis and Neckbone taking a boat to a supposedly deserted isle, where they found a boat stuck on a tree (How did it get there? Well, that’s not explained). This boat turns out to be quite important for Mud later on and moves the story forward nicely.
Mud is a kind of movie that you need to pay attention to, and it is not hard to do when you are constantly looking at beautiful shots. The locations are almost palpable and the atmosphere really sets each scene up wonderfully.
This is a good movie to watch with your parents or kids. It ends up communicating a message about what’s important in the long run when it comes to relationships.
I would rank it very high on the must watch list and am looking forward to more movies from Jeff Nichols.