Review: Mud (2013, Jeff Nichols)

mud-2013-1RATING: 6/10

Director: Jeff Nichols
Cast: Tye Sheridan, Mathew McConaughey, Jacob Lofland, Reese Witherspoon, Sarah Paulson, Sam Shephard, Ray McKinnon & Michael Shannon
Screenplay: Jeff Nichols

A large consensus of movie goers have claimed that “Mud” is certainly one of the most underrated films from the year of 2013. Though I thought the movie was generally good, telling the coming of age tale of two boys who get mixed up in the business of a convict, I beg to differ. However, the efforts that director Jeff Nichols has made definitely paid off with this unconventional tale of growing up that features two great performances from both an upcoming and veteran actor.

The film is set in the river banks of Southern toy, where two best friends Ellis (Tye Sheridan) and Neckbone (Jacob Lofland) are eager to claim an abandoned boat theirs. Upon arriving the wreckage, they find Mud (McConaughey), a man who has taken residence in the boat. As they uncover Mud’s story of murder and loss love (with a supporting role by Reese Witherspoon which doesn’t challenger her acting abilities to say the least), the two aren’t only mixed up with the misdoings of his crime, but are forced to grow up in the process.

There are many coming of age tales that usually storm cinema screens every year. So far, my personal favourite for 2013 has been “The Way, Way Back” which I just reviewed a couple of weeks ago. For the case of “Mud”, it simply didn’t live up to my expectations. The tale of the two boys set a flare of interest in me in the start, but eventually the fire began to cool down in the middle of its 130 minute runtime. Props though to director Jeff Nichols, who wrote a script that isn’t conventional, and constructing performances that were necessary to make the film work.

Tye Sheridan, along with the hundreds of young Hollywood hopefuls that try to impress us every year, was good. Hopefully this young man doesn’t disappear because the boy does have talent. There is no category fraud here, cause Sheridan’s Ellis was most definitely the lead and carried the entire picture on his shoulders for what it is. The newly vitalised Matthew McCaunghey can add another wonderful supporting turn in his resume, but still struggles to find true leading male status for these kind of movies. That’s coming from someone who hasn’t seen his recent Oscar hopeful, “Dallas Buyers Club” – which looks interesting. I’m hopeful for him, because he definitely deserves the award for Most Improved Actor in recent memory.

I enjoyed it. I wouldn’t say immensely, but the film is a solid 6 in my book. Unfortunately, I feel like it’s one of those movies that won’t grow too well with time. By this time next year, all memory of the movie probably won’t be in my mind. Especially when looking back at the extremely wonderful year that 2013 was for film. It isn’t a landmark film, but certainly an interesting take on growing up with spirited writing and good actors.

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