FLIX PIX (125): “Matthew McConaughey Shines as MUD”



(directed by Jeff Nichols, 2013)

**** (out of 5)


> This is fine moviemaking with a great sense of time and place (the Louisiana delta in the recent past), filled with strong, subtle performances and infused with a palpable tension.

. It is the story of two young boys who find a charming outlaw hiding out on a nearby island, and begin to help him refurbish an abandoned boat to make good his escape from the cops and vigilantes who are closing in on him.  ”Mud” is a compulsive storyteller, transfixing the boys attentions with his fanciful view of reality as they slowly get more and more drawn in to a dangerous situation that gets them in way over their heads.   Once considered a lightweight “personality” actor, Matthew McConaughey continues his recent string of great indie choices, delivering what is perhaps his best performance yet in a part that seems highly likely to receive deserved Oscar attention.  (I hope so.  He earned the recognition here.)

. The supporting cast is uniformly excellent, from Reese Witherspoon as a kind of hapless femme-fatal/lowlife skank, to Ray McKinnon and Sarah Paulson as warring white-trash parents who only want the best for their child.  It is a pleasure to watch the great Sam Shepard age into a perfectly calibrated character actor.  The kids in the center of the film are delightfully naturalistic, speaking believable dialogue with ease and authority.  (The youth playing “Neckbone” is highly reminiscent of a young River Phoenix in STAND BY ME- in fact, the whole film is.)

. The tension keeps ratcheting up to an unexpected but appropriate ending that most of us will not see coming.  I didn’t- and I’ve seen over 5000 movies!  Damn this was good.  Add it to your list!

*  *  *

© Kevin Paul Keelan and lastcre8iveiconoclast, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Kevin Paul Keelan and lastcre8iveiconoclast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


About KPKeelan

Fool, Philosopher, Lover & Dreamer, Benign TROUBLEMAKER, King and Jester of KPKworld, an online portal to visual and linguistic mystery, befuddlement and delight.
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3 Responses to FLIX PIX (125): “Matthew McConaughey Shines as MUD”

  1. BunKaryudo says:

    Sounds like a movie worth watching. Thanks for the review.


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