Sunday, June 2, 2013

Mud (2013)- Once Upon a Time in the South (3 Stars)

Mud is a modern day fairy tale by  Jeff Nichols. The first thing the film does right was done in the beginning of production, and that was to make the film easily watchable and accessible. This is from Jeff Nichols, whose Take Shelter was disorienting, cold, and somewhat hard to watch (but not bad).

Matthew McConaughey is the title character of Mud, a man living in a boat caught on a tree on a wooded island. He is discovered by Ellis and Neckbone (Tye Sheridan and Jacob Lofland, frontrunners for the year's best child performers), and tells the two to help him reunite with his lost love (Reese Witherspoon).

The film is set in Louisiana, and quite so. Kids ride alone in motorboats, live in boat house neighborhoods, and ride dirt bikes that drag fish coolers. Throughout the film I wondered why the kids didn't go to school, but perhaps it was just summer vacation.

There is a twist in the film that directly relates to the film's finale, one that did not sit too well with me. The performances are fine and entertaining, but the direction the film takes was one that didn't work.

Mud is a film with imagination, but the twist has an imagination of a gang of teenage kids.

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