James Milstead’s review published on Letterboxd:
D: Jeff Nichols
Lions Gate/Roadside Attractions (Lisa Marie Falcone, Sarah Green & Aaron Ryder)
US 2012 (released 2013)
W: Jeff Nichols
DP: Adam Stone
Ed: Julie Monroe
Mus: David Wingo
Matthew McConaughey (Mud), Tye Sheridan (Ellis), Sam Shepard (Tom Blankenship), Michael Shannon (Galen), Joe Don Baker (King), Ray McKinnon (Senior), Sarah Paulson (Mary Lee), Paul Sparks (Carver), Jacob Lofland (Neckbone), Reese Witherspoon (Juniper)
It has to be said that Matthew McConaughey has had an excellent 12 months during 2013-14. Winning the Best Actor Oscar for Dallas Buyers Club to add to his slew of annual awards.
This movie came out earlier in 2013 and all the talk then was of him receiving an Oscar nomination for this, albeit in a supporting role despite playing the title character.
The story is Tom Sawyer-esque, about two teenage boys, Ellis & Neck, who live on the banks of the Mississippi River, they discover a derelict boat which a drifter by the name of Mud is using as a home. Wanted for murder and fleeing a vigilante mob, the boys help Mud to repair the boat so he can continue his getaway. McConaughey does a great job to make you empathise with a character who isn't holier than thou, but credit also has to go to the two young boys who play Ellis & Neck.
A number of stars turn up in relatively small parts, including Reese Witherspoon, Michael Shannon and Sam Shepard, but McConaughey steals the movie.
The only criticism is the last 15 minutes which seemed unconvincing and a little contrived. Nevertheless a decent independent drama worth watching for the performances alone.