Mud (Matthew McConaughey – Bernie) is a fugitive living on a remote island waiting to meet up with his one true love before fleeing the country. He is discovered by two idolising youngsters who decide to help Mud get his boat ready and to get word to his true love Juniper (Reese Witherspoon – Legally Blonde) that he is coming for her. But bounty hunters have been tasked with finding Mud and have Juniper under constant surveillance, something that the boys must overcome if they are to help their new friend out.
Mud is a curious coming-of-age drama with a strong love story at its core. It finds an A-list cast and two brilliant newcomers to tell its sun-kissed and compelling tale of deceit, second chances and missed opportunities.
Matthew McConaughey continues to remind us all why he is such a great onscreen talent and makes the film his own with a magnetic lead turn. The young boys in the movie are sensational and give the film a dramatic stance that’s a joy to watch. Both Tye Sheridan and Jacob Lofland do exceptionally well here and give a performance that’s far above their years.
Sam Shepard does well as one of Mud’s few and far between allies and there is a ‘blink and you’ll miss him’ cameo from Michael Shannon as the good-natured relative to one of the boys.
If there is a downside, it’s with Reese Witherspoon as the love interest. She never really convinces as the love of Mud’s life and some smarter casting could have done this picture the world of good.
The film is shot beautifully and really makes for a warm and embracing picture-postcard. The environment is used very well to create a sense of danger and solitude whilst always respecting the parameters of a conventional love story.
Mud is a decent coming-of-age tale that will strike a chord with you. With great performances aplenty and some keen direction, this drama hooks you in. It may ebb away towards the end but for the most part, there’s plenty to admire in this bittersweet tale of love lost and missed opportunities.