My two younger sons and I attended the movie Mud this past Friday night. After hearing and/or reading stellar reviews about the film, we thought it would be a nice variation to the annual summer onslaught of superhero offerings. All three of us came away thoroughly impressed by the powerful character portrayals in Mud, especially by Matthew McConaughey and the two young men played by Tye Sheridan and Jacob Lofland, who discover him hiding/living on a mid-river island. Reese Witherspoon and Sam Shepard were also terrific. Without revealing too much of the plot, Mud is a thought-provoking dramatic movie that borders on becoming mired in its own title by references to women being manipulative and depiction of men being egotistical, knee-jerk reactionary Neanderthals. Fortunately, the movie stops just short of delving into the quagmire of overindulgence in sweeping categorizations.
It is the two young men who seem to be the catalyst for speaking up for common sense throughout the movie. Ellis (Tye Sheridan) desperately believes in the power of love and Neckbone (Jacob Lofland) calls out any and all bullshit when he sees it and/or hears it. Essentially, as the viewer, you are observing this drama unfold amidst the Arkansas Delta Country through their impressionable eyes.
Personally, I believe Mud deserves numerous Oscar nominations, especially for Matthew McConaughey and both of the young actors. The fact that the nominations are not due out for another six months may well work against the movie, but please do not let that stop you from seeing what will definitely be regarded as one of the best pictures of 2013. Go see this film!