DIRECTED BY JEFF NICHOLS
USA, 2012, 130 MIN, RATED PG-13
Master storyteller Jeff Nichols (Shotgun Stories, Take Shelter) returns with this stunning homespun fable set on the banks of the Mississippi River. Told from the point of view of two young Arkansas teenagers, 14-year-old Ellis (Tye Sheridan, The Tree of Life) and his best friend Neckbone (Jacob Lofland), MUD follows these adventurous boys as they explore an island where rumors tell of a boat that’s been stranded high in the trees by the latest flood. What they discover is the hiding place of a charismatic outlaw named Mud (Matthew McConaughey), who befriends the boys and enlists them in his search for his true love Juniper (Reese Witherspoon) on the mainland and subsequent attempt to make a clean getaway. With its lived-in depiction of a bygone South and magnetic performances—including the fine supporting cast of Sam Shepard, Sarah Paulson, Michael Shannon, and Joe Don Baker—this is a lyrical coming-of-age adventure that considers codes of love, honor, friendship, and family. Despite echoes of Stand by Me, Huckelberry Finn, and even Night of the Hunter, MUD’s handcrafted vision makes it a true original and charming new classic of Americana.