(Note: This is a reprint of our Mud review from Sundance 2013. The film opens in a limited run today.)
For his follow-up to Take Shelter, director Jeff Nichols smartly casts Matthew McConaughey as a violent drifter who slides into the lives of two young boys whose families eke out a bare existence on the Mississippi River. Using the gift for gab that any character played by McConaughey must automatically possess, this outlaw wraps the boys up in his plan to achieve true freedom.
While Take Shelter trafficked in heavy ambiguity, Mud does away with uncertainty, at least with respect to the story. This is a straightforward tale that rides on the shoulders of McConaughey and two excellent young actors, Tye Sheridan (The Tree of Life) and newcomer Jacob Lofland.
Mud is a riff on Mark Twain, and an exploration of the relationships between generations of men. It could be a Tom Waits song, perhaps a long-lost cut from Swordfishtrombones, revolving as it does around a man with a dark past who seeks to build an escape engine out of cast-off parts, with love as his fuel. The film casts a keen eye on people living a mostly bygone lifestyle, and wraps those observations in a rollicking little adventure that you might find in the yellowing pages of an old pulp novel.
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Posted on Wednesday, January 16th, 2013 by Angie Han
With the releases of Bernie, Magic Mike, and Killer Joe, 2012 may very well have been the best year of Matthew McConaughey‘s career. And don’t expect to see that momentum flag in 2013. McConaughey is starting the year off with Mud, a coming-of-age tale directed by Jeff Nichols (Take Shelter).
The Tree of Life actor Tye Sheridan and newcomer Jacob Lofland play a pair of friends who come across a mysterious man named Mud (McConaughey) hiding out in the woods along the Mississippi. While he soon admits that he’s on the run for killing a man, they’re charmed by his romantic tales and agree to help him out. Their boyish adventure takes a sour turn, however, when Mud’s real problems entangle them in some very adult complications. Watch the trailer after the jump.
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Posted on Friday, December 7th, 2012 by Angie Han
As 2012 comes to an end, it’s time to look ahead to the cool stuff in store for 2013. A few new release dates have just been announced, promising a new year just as exciting on the cinematic front as the old one was. Hit the jump to read more about scheduling for George Clooney‘s The Monuments Men, Terence Malick‘s To the Wonder, and more.
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Just under two months away from the kickoff of the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and the second batch of films has been announced. Wednesday’s reveal of the competition narrative and documentaries has now been followed by the Spotlight, New Frontier and Park City at Midnight movies, which is where you’ll find most of the weird and genre stuff that’s playing at the fest from January 17-27.
Among the highlights are, the world premiere of the anthology film S-VHS (the sequel to V/H/S); Jeff Nichols‘ follow-up to Take Shelter, Mud; Ben Wheatley‘s follow-up to Kill List, Sightseers; James Franco interpreting gay S&M footage cut from Crusing in Interior. Leather Bar; Sarah Polley‘s documentary Stories We Tell; and the exorcism comedy Hell Baby starring Rob Corddry, Leslie Bibb, Paul Scheer, Rob Huebel.
Read about all the films after the jump. Read More »
The primary lineup for the competition slate at the 2012 Cannes has been unveilend, and it is a very strong list of films. There are quite a few expected entries: David Cronenberg‘s Cosmopolis, Lee Daniels‘ The Paperboy, John Hillcoat‘s Lawless (formerly The Wettest County), and Andrew Dominik‘s Killing Them Softly (formerly Cogan’s Trade), and we already knew that Wes Anderson‘s Moonrise Kingdom would open the festival.
But the international lineup is even more exciting, with films such as Rust & Bone from Jacques Audiard, Amour from Micheal Haneke, The Hunt from Thomas Vinterberg, and Mekong Hotel from 2010 Palme d’Or winner Apichatpong Weerasethakul. As is occasionally the case with Cannes, this year’s lineup features many returning Cannes award winners; it’s a world-class program.
The downside to all of that is that Paul Thomas Anderson‘s The Master and Terrence Malick‘s as-yet untitled romance starring Ben Affleck, Rachel McAdams and Javier Bardem didn’t show up in the list. There is some time for them to be added to the festival lineup in some measure, but (as expected) we’ll likely have to wait until this fall for The Master. As for the Malick movie… well, it’s Malick, so who knows?
You’ll find the lineup as it has been announced so far after the break. Read More »
Take Shelter director Jeff Nichols is prepping his third film, Mud, and he’s just added quite a few actors to the cast. Take Shelter star Michael Shannon is on board for a small role, and Sam Shepard, Sarah Paulson, Ray McKinnon, Joe Don Baker and Paul Sparks are all set to appear alongside leads Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon and Tye Sheridan in the film that started shooting yesterday in Arkansas.
And if you’re afraid this sounds like just another low-key indie, read on for the director’s description, as he likens the film to Peckinpah directing a story by Mark Twain.
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One of the bigger festival hits of this past year was Jeff Nichols‘ second film Take Shelter, starring Michael Shannon and Jessica Chastain. (Check the trailer for Take Shelter here.) The director has been planning to follow up that film with Mud, a story about a fugitive aided by a 14 year-old boy in a plan to reunite with the woman he loves. Earlier this year Chris Pine was said to be set for the title role. He seems to have dropped out, and now Matthew McConaughey will play the part instead, with Reese Witherspoon playing the object of his affection. Read More »
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One of the better-received films at this year’s Sundance was Take Shelter, starring Michael Shannon and Jessica Chastain. The film is playing to good reviews at Cannes now as well, and the writer/director, Jeff Nichols, is prepping his second film. Mud, as the picture is called, has Chris Pine in talks to star as Mud, a fugitive that is assisted in his escape from an island in the Mississippi river by two 14-year old boys.
The LA Times has the news, and says, “the ambiguity of the story lies with Mud, who is both an unsavory and a redemptive character and who teaches the boys as much as he learns from them,” making the obvious and obligatory Huck Finn reference immediately afterward. Stand By Me is also name-dropped. The reviews for Take Shelter are all I need to be interested in what Jeff Nichols does next, and picking Chris Pine for a definitively non-blockbuster sort of role sounds like a good move.
After the break, Matt Dillon may beat up a pretend Linda Lovelace, and a shortlist emerges for the Great Gatsby role that Ben Affleck had to give up. Read More »