Review: Mud

Director: Jeff Nichols
Year: 2012
Score: 8.5/10

Mud

Neckbone’s gloriously casual wave.

Extremely effective drama from Jeff Nichols, gripping, moving and painful all at once. He has total command over this and brings a careful subtlety to every aspect. I saw it as an exploration of the impressionable and trusting nature of a child, and a child’s-eye view of romance – or perhaps the naivety of youth? There’s such a palpable sense of place, crucial to bringing us into the world these characters inhabit. One solid action sequence does precisely what it needs to. The performances of the two young boys at the centre of the film are both excellent; Tye Sheridan, who previously impressed me as the youngest of the three brothers in The Tree of Life, is especially good and will be one to watch in the coming years. Matthew McConaughy gives a surprisingly thoughtful performance as well. I enjoyed the fact that his shirtlessness – a recurring feature of his previous performances which has rightly drawn scorn – is a genuine plot point in this case. Also good to see Deadwood alums Ray McKinnon (who I love) and Sarah Paulson as Sheridan’s parents.

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