BY ISA MONTAGNESE
Director Jeff Nichols is definitely one to watch. His last film Take Shelter was a critical success and I can see why! First of all he casts Michael Shannon in all his movies including a small part in Mud, which is a damn smart move but as a writer/director he is proving himself to be an important part this new wave of hyper-realist/surrealist directors. Nichols is a more modern Terrence Mallick but not as long winded. There seems to be this new style wave thats happening in film these days where surrealism is mixing with realism and producing these thoughtful, slow, slightly abstract movies. True film fans have been gravitating towards movies that you have to invest in rather than settling for feature length car adds.
Nichols creates this very basic world, basic characters, basic environment and then throws this crazy twist in to keep you guessing. In Mud, two young boys from working class families meet a crazy guy named Mud (Matthew McConaughey) living in a boat on an island. Shit gets crazy when the boys get a little too involved in Mud’s drama. Along the way, our young hero (Tye Sheridan) learns all about life, love, family and trust.
The cast was all amazing!! First of all, McConaughey is really hitting his stride, he just keeps getting better. Our boys, Ellis (Sheridan is an incredible little kid) and Neckbone (hilarious name ps) are every kid from my elementary school and Sam Shepard plays a perfect scary neighbour. The only mis-step is Reese Witherspoon as Mud’s lady. She came on screen and I literally said “uuuuurgh” she just doesn’t fit.
Honestly, I don’t think the world really needs too many more coming-of-age movies about little straight/white boys (even though I love that sub-genre) but I’ll make an exception for this movie. This one is worth the watch and keep an eye out for more Nichols movies because I think he’s just going to get better.