Review~ Swampland River Drama, Children Discovering Danger, Matthew McConaughey; Mud

Mud, with Matthew McConaughey, Tye Sheridan, Jacob Lofland & Reese Witherspoon.  Director, Jeff Nichols.  Once in a while, I will deign to see a film that stars children.  McConaughey is also someone that I need to think twice about before attending.  Though he is a good talent, there’s only so much of the folksy drama, that he exudes, that I can stomach.  But I had planned earlier this year to catch this, thinking it would be my only Southern US, bayou, swamp, peasant whatever.  My instincts were correct.  Great film, stifling locations, charming coming-of-age story.

McConaughey’s mysterious, fugitive character is discovered by two typical boys, living on a river island in secret.  Their inborn responses informing them of adventure & danger.  One child, Sheridan, immediately sympathetic & the other, suspicious of the stranger’s intent.  McConaughey plays this scallywag to the hilt.  Just enough of a salty scoundrel, without being boring.

The morality of the story revolves around Sheridan, a considerate boy, whose proclivity to be a heart-breaker is more than apparent.  Though the child isn’t necessarily the biggest extroverted, bubbly little actor that you’ll ever see; he is expressive enough for the part.  I usually approve of children only being used as props, but showcasing this boy was a great idea.  As a counteractive to McConaughey’s bluff & bluster.

The story was simple enough & there’s only so much cinematography that can happen on a lowland river.  But the film includes two other side stories, lacing everything together into something acceptable.   Appearances by Michael Shannon, lately reviewed in Man of Steel, & Sam Shepard, of Safe House, give this quiet & deliberate motion picture a sheen of “greatness”.  McConaughey contributes his vitality; Sheridan & Lofland, their innocence.  Witherspoon’s inclusion, as an elusive target; rounds everything out.  Even though her character is supposed to be beautiful – & she is not.

I recommend this film for viewing.  The ladies, among my readership, will be happy to know that McConaughey takes his shirt off, at least once.

7 responses

  1. I will have to check it out
    Never heard about the movie until this review.
    What was Matthew McConaughey doing this past few years, he just vanished.