14 year-old Ellis (Tye Sheridan) lives on a makeshift houseboat on the banks of a river in Arkansas with his parents, Mary Lee (Sarah Paulson) and Senior (Ray McKinnon). He sneaks out early one morning to meet his best friend, Neckbone (Jacob Lofland). Neckbone, also 14, lives with his uncle, Galen (Michael Shannon), who makes a hardscrabble living diving for oysters. The two boys set out to an island on the Mississippi River, where Neckbone has discovered an unusual sight-a boat, suspended high in the trees, a remnant of an extreme flood some time in the past. They climb the tree and into the boat only to find fresh bread and fresh footprints. Realizing that they are not the only ones who have discovered the treehouse boat, they decide to leave. When they reach the shore, they find the same footprint in their boat. And that's when they meet Mud (Matthew McConaughey). Mud is a gritty, superstitious character; his clothes are dirty, his tooth is cracked, and he needs help. He tells the...Written by
Director Jeff Nichols' Third Film is an Embodiment of the Classic Americana Spirit Delivered Through Heartfelt Storytelling and Pristine Cinematic Technicality
Engaging an audience in a truly captivating sense of wonder is a lost art form in the realm of cinema, or at least it has become so rare that we begin to forget how magical the silver screen experience can be. One of those rare filmmakers is writer and director Jeff Nichols who made great strides in inventive filmmaking with his second feature Take Shelter, a deeply unsettling and atmospheric thriller that reminded us that the potential for original storytelling can have equally creative follow through. Writer/director Jeff Nichols' latest atmospheric drama Mud continues his notable prestige for dramatic filmmaking by creating a pure slice of Americana; an evocative and poignant coming of age tale that borrows the lyricism of Tennessee Williams works and mixes them with the harmonious sensitivity of a Sam Shepard play, who is ironically enough in a supporting role in the film, creating a witty and insightful modern day Mark Twain influenced adventure. Keeping his respectful gaze on rural America, Nichols creates an intimate reflection on friendship, unrequited love, and youthful discovery with a rhythmic, sensitive approach towards life's realizations during childhood. Mud is one of those films where all of the creative outlets from the ethereal cinematography to the haunting cinematic score come together in perfect unison to highlight the depth within the story being told. The film unveils its inner soul with a purposefully meditative pace that might deter some from experiencing a thoughtful approach but that would be a drastic mistake because it's one of the more authentically creative and emotionally opulent movies to grace the theaters in a long while. In Mud we're not only witnessing the artistic stamp of a director who has found his distinct voice but also the final stages of resurrection in the acting career of Matthew McConaughey who has never been more focused or impassioned on the screen. While Mud might not be as finely woven as his sophomore effort Take Shelter there is no denying his latest drama's penchant for compelling drama enhanced by the heartfelt nature of the writing, the clarity in the visuals, and the honesty in all of the acting performances.
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