DIR/WRI: Jeff Nichols • PRO: Lisa Maria Falcone, Sarah Green, Aaron Ryder • DOP: Adam Stone • ED: Julie Monroe • DES: Richard A. Wright • Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Tye Sheridan, Jacob Lofland, Sam Shepard
The career renaissance of Matthew McConaughey can’t be denied or stopped. In the space of two years, he’s gone from reviled rom-com actor with impossible abs to an actor that is both critically and commercially successful. With such powerful performances like William Freidkin’s Killer Joe, Steven Soderbergh’s Magic Mike and Richard Linklater’s Bernie, McConaughey’s career is returning to its earlier promise. Mud continues this upward trend. Set in the Deep South, the titular character is a charismatic vagabond who’s hiding out in a swamp islet. Two young boys, Ellis and ‘Neckbone’ (Tye Sheridan and Jacob Lofland), find ‘Mud’ during an exploration of the islet. From the very beginning, it’s clear Mud is drawing influences from Mark Twain. As the story progresses, it’s clear that Mud is not all he claims he is and is hiding out in the islet after an altercation involving another man and his ‘one true love’, in the form of Juniper – played by Reese Witherspoon.