Movie Notes: Mud

From circa a year ago:

After watching Mud at the Enzian last Friday night I officially forgave Reese Witherspoon  for her erstwhile C.O.P.S. appearance and Matthew McConnaughy for besmirching the memory of Johnny Cash with his tribute rendition of The Man Comes Around. Mud is symbol-laden and will bear watching another time or two in order to take it in at that level. Rivers have a way of telling stories because they carry us along even while we try to stand still. Michael Shannon (Shotgun Stories, Machine Gun Preacher) in a support role as a flaky uncle brings a little serendipity. Ray McKinnon (O Brother, Where Art Thou; Blind Side; unforgettable in Chrystal) is the world-weary but loving father. Tye Sheridan and Jacob Lofland are stellar boy actors reminiscent of Stand By Me. If you grew up in the rural mid-South, Reese Witherspoon is that girl who could have started a riot in high school, but who you might find working at the Wal-Mart now (although her character has attempted to play out greater ambitions). Joe Don Baker as the Jesus praying, revenge-seeking father has a few scenes worth their weight. McConaughy is at his best as a borderline person, teetering between the cover of GQ and a catfish farmer. The gestalt is a little bit Beasts of the Southern Wild, a little Winter’s Bone and a good dose of Don Quixote. Rating guide: No nekkid people, but lots of bombs from every letter of the alphabet. And some shotguns.





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