Cannes Review: 'Mud' Starring Matthew McConaughey Is An Underwhelming Anti-Fairy Tale

Cannes Review: 'Mud' Starring Matthew McConaughey Is An Underwhelming Anti-Fairy Tale
"Mud," American writer/director Jeff Nichols' underwhelming follow-up to the masterfully visceral "Take Shelter," is both a shallow and contrived coming of age story. While both 'Shelter' and "Shotgun Stories," Nichols' promising debut feature, explore their respective characters' motives and emotions, "Mud" instead offers pat sentiments and bland bathos.

While his parents talk about separating, Ellis (Tye Sheridan, one of the boys in Malick's "The Tree Of Life"), an adolescent native of DeWitt, Arkansas, helps Mud (an accomplished performance from Matthew McConaughey), a fugitive, reunite with his lover. Ellis isn't initially sure why he confides in Mud. But ultimately, Ellis sticks by the titular Byronic redneck in a predictably vain attempt to understand his parents’ break-up and why self-evident displays of affection cannot be taken at face value. Every ounce of mystery and promise established in the first half hour of "Mud" evaporates once it becomes clear that Nichols
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