I don't know about all of you, but I had a great weekend with movies.
"Mud" is a film you all should rent and track down if you haven't already. Its a coming of age film with a twist. Something that works as a story about young teens as much as a serious, tense, adult drama. I was pleasantly and happily surprised by how effected I was by "Mud." This is a movie that grips your mind and heart in equal measure and satisfies on all accounts. The film was directed by Jeff Nichols, who also made the brilliant "Take Shelter" in 2011 as well as "Shotgun Stories" in 2008. I have not seen the latter, but right now, I am pumped more than ever.
"Mud" is about two childhood friends who spend their days taking one of their fathers boats and taking it down the stream. One day they come across another boat stuck in a tree, after hanging out on the island of the boat in the tree, they quickly figure that someone else lives on the island. That someone is "Mud" (Matthew McConaughey), a strange man who enlists the help of the boys to put the boat back into form so he can find his long, lost love (Reese Witherspoon) and go away with her. But the boys also find out that Mud is a wanted fugitive, which complicates the matter.
This is a movie that is driven by its acting, and it is all spectacular. Matthew McConaughey has been going on a run as of recently, and I hope it never ends. He's not an actor I have particularly rooted for in the past, but I can't help but be energized by his work as of late. "Mud" is no exception, he throws himself into the role and creates a grand presence. Another actor I have never had much sympathy for is Reese Witherspoon, whom also turns up a wonderful performance. She isn't in it too much, but she makes all her scenes count. She makes her presence known and she allows her work to stick out. This isn't a character we are used to seeing Witherspoon playing, but honestly that's a good thing. Michael Shannon reunites with Nichols from "Take Shelter," and he also turns out great work.
There is one bond that really makes the film work, and its the acting of the two boys. Their names are Tye Sheridan and Jacob Loftland, I hope this isn't the only time we see either of them onscreen. The chemistry these two actors create seems like work done by two veteran actors, they make look that effortless. The characters these two guys create seem like real people, they never come off like they are merely saying lines from a script. Its great work and they deserve nearly all the credit for making this movie work as well as it does. Forget Zak Efron and Justin Bieber, I hope these two young actors are the future of Hollywood, if they are then I can die happy.
This is a piercing, powerful drama. Something that I think will revitalize how we look at both Mconaughey and Witherspoon in the future, something that I think masterfully showcases the talents of two budding, young actors. It doesn't feel like anything else coming out these days, and that is another good thing. Another thing it is...is a miracle.
FINAL GRADE: A