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post #1 of 50 Old 04-27-2013, 01:35 PM - Thread Starter
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From Jeff Nichols, writer/director of Shotgun Stories and Take Shelter.

Morgenstern's review

If that link doesn't work, just google it.

Eve: I thought I was through getting involved with men who were trouble. Falling in love on a look. I can't look at you.

Mickey: You have perfection about you. Your eyes have music. Your heart's the best part of your body. And when you move, every man, woman and child is forced to watch.
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post #2 of 50 Old 05-21-2013, 10:54 AM
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Link doesn't work, but I've already read a good bit about it, but not so much as to spoil it.

I'm going to see this tomorrow, and I'm really looking forward to it. I was extremely impressed with director Jeff Nichols' 2011 film Take Shelter. That film is engaging, insightful, and respectful of the intelligence of its audience, even if many of them mistook the film for a horror or thriller film about a guy with prophetic powers (it's not -- it's about mental illness and love and hope). If Mud is half as good as Take Shelter, I'll be very pleased. Most of the reviews I've read also mention that Matthew McConaughey is outstanding in this. If his performance is on par with the one he turned in for The Lincoln Lawyer, then it will be outstanding. His rom-com past notwithstanding, the man can act.
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post #3 of 50 Old 05-21-2013, 11:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Will2007 View Post

Link doesn't work, but I've already read a good bit about it, but not so much as to spoil it.

I'm going to see this tomorrow, and I'm really looking forward to it. I was extremely impressed with director Jeff Nichols' 2011 film Take Shelter. That film is engaging, insightful, and respectful of the intelligence of its audience, even if many of them mistook the film for a horror or thriller film about a guy with prophetic powers (it's not -- it's about mental illness and love and hope). If Mud is half as good as Take Shelter, I'll be very pleased. Most of the reviews I've read also mention that Matthew McConaughey is outstanding in this. If his performance is on par with the one he turned in for The Lincoln Lawyer, then it will be outstanding. His rom-com past notwithstanding, the man can act.

+1! Just found a link to the Morgenstern review of mud that works. I have been looking for a time to see the film for a while but haven't managed to get it done yet. I really like Matthew McConaughey's work these days. I thought he was nearly flawless as Mickey Haller in The Lincoln Lawyer. His pretty boy handsomeness has weathered into something a lot more interesting than it used to be and Morgenstern's review has convinced me that McConaughey will be terrific in Mud.. It seems to me that Reese Witherspoon will also be excellent. Mud is a southern gothic piece, written and directed by a southern boy and starring two actors who are as southern as grits and corn bread. I will report after I finally find a chance to see it.
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post #4 of 50 Old 05-21-2013, 11:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Will2007 View Post

Link doesn't work, but I've already read a good bit about it, but not so much as to spoil it.

I'm going to see this tomorrow, and I'm really looking forward to it. I was extremely impressed with director Jeff Nichols' 2011 film Take Shelter. That film is engaging, insightful, and respectful of the intelligence of its audience, even if many of them mistook the film for a horror or thriller film about a guy with prophetic powers (it's not -- it's about mental illness and love and hope). If Mud is half as good as Take Shelter, I'll be very pleased. Most of the reviews I've read also mention that Matthew McConaughey is outstanding in this. If his performance is on par with the one he turned in for The Lincoln Lawyer, then it will be outstanding. His rom-com past notwithstanding, the man can act.

Yeah, newspaper sites play games with their urls. I edited it so it should work now. Your assessment is pretty much in line with Morgenstern - he considers it MM's best work of his career.

Eve: I thought I was through getting involved with men who were trouble. Falling in love on a look. I can't look at you.

Mickey: You have perfection about you. Your eyes have music. Your heart's the best part of your body. And when you move, every man, woman and child is forced to watch.
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post #5 of 50 Old 05-21-2013, 11:37 AM
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+1! Just found a link to the Morgenstern review of mud that works.

Thanks for the link, gwsat.
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I really like Matthew McConaughey's work these days. I thought he was nearly flawless as Mickey Haller in The Lincoln Lawyer.

I couldn't agree more. +1. I bought the BD right away and have watched it several times.
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Mud is a southern gothic piece, written and directed by a southern boy and starring two actors who are as southern as grits and corn bread. I will report after I finally find a chance to see it.

I, too, am a southern boy and my family on both sides are as southern as grits and corn bread. I can spot real southern in an actor or writer from a mile away. It's nice to see authentic southern actors playing southern characters. Too often Hollywood horribly miscasts actors to play poorly written southern archetypes and gets it really wrong. Worse sometimes are the horrible fake southern accents and attempts to use southern idioms gone wrong.

Ha. I will probably see this before you, so my report might precede yours. biggrin.gif
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post #6 of 50 Old 05-22-2013, 02:24 PM
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I saw Mud today and despite my high expectations they were exceeded. As wonderful as Matthew McConaughey was in The Lincoln Lawyer I thought he was even better in Mud. Reese Witherspoon was wonderful as a high mileage but still beautiful woman who Mud has been hopelessly in love with since childhood. The surprise to me was young Tye Sheridan who plays 14 year old Nick and, along with his friend Neckbone, helps Mud. The film is as much Ellis' as it is Mud's and young Sheridan was brilliant. Ellis' parents are played by two more genuine southerners, both Deadwood graduates, Ray McKinnon (Reverend H.W. Smith) and Sarah Paulson (Miss Isringhausen). Both are among the best actors working today and proved it in Mud.

I was happy to see Michael Shannon, yet another southerner, who plays Neckbone's uncle. Shannon's performance was excellent but the role underutilized his considerable talent. Finally the father and one of the sons of a family that is after Mud for reasons that are explained early in the film are played by two more southerners, that wonderful old time actor, Joe Don Baker, as the father, and Paul Sparks as his son. Those who mainly remember Sparks for his memorable but quirky performances as Mickey Doyle on Boardwalk Empire will have a hard time recognizing him here, where he plays a vindictive thug.

Finally, the writing and the direction, both supplied by Jeff Nichols, were outstanding. Mud is a wonderful film, highly recommended, 8 Stars out of 10.
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post #7 of 50 Old 05-22-2013, 03:45 PM
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Dammit, gwsat, you beat me to it. biggrin.gif Just kidding. I like your review and agree with it, except for being a little disappointed myself.

Don't get me wrong. It's a very good movie, but I was expecting a great movie after just loving Jeff Nichols' previous film Take Shelter from 2011. Michael Shannon stars in it, and his performance is as good as nearly any I've seen. Jessica Chastain is terrific in it too, but her role is smaller than Shannon's, as he appears in nearly every scene. He expresses so much inner turmoil with so little dialogue, and does so in such an understated and subtle way, it's a marvel to behold. I also think Take Shelter's script is much tighter and leaner than Mud's.

Mud is indeed a gothic southern tale, and it is indebted to and obviously inspired by some of the tales of Mark Twain. Nevertheless, I felt like Nichols was trying to cram too much into one film, and that his story went in too many directions at once. Some of the sequences and plot points could have been left on the editing room floor without harming the tone or theme. Indeed, I think the overall feel of the film would have improved if some of it had been left out. Tye Sheridan, the kid who plays Ellis, does a wonderful job and we identify with and care deeply about his character. He is destined to become a breakout star if he sticks with it. McConaughey is very good in this, but I liked him better in The Lincoln Lawyer. Witherspoon is little more than a prop in this film, unfortunately, although she does well with what she has to work with. The rest of supporting cast was very good too.

One other small criticism I have -- and it's a minor one -- is that I felt there was a little too much corn pone down home rural dialogue; some of it rang true, whereas some of it seemed overwrought and exaggerated (I prefer erring on the side of understatement, but I suppose that's a matter of taste). I think Slingblade got it more right than Mud does, but compared to how mainstream Hollywood studios usually badly mishandle the portrayal of rural southerners and their lifestyles, this one is authentic to a T.

4 out of 5 stars from me.
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post #8 of 50 Old 05-22-2013, 07:22 PM
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Will2007 -- Although you found a bit more to criticize in Mud than I did, your rating of the film at 80 percent of a perfect score (4 stars out of 5) was identical to mine, which was 8 Stars out of 10. Great minds, and all that.

It is my policy to never watch anything in SD these days. Tomorrow morning, though, I am recording Take Shelter from an SD Encore channel because there are no HD showings presently scheduled. Unfortunately Cox OKC carries only one Encore channel in HD but has a gazillion of them in SD. If I can stomach the PQ I'll watch Take Shelter soon and try to do my own report comparing and contrasting it to Mud.
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post #9 of 50 Old 05-23-2013, 06:59 AM
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Will2007 -- Although you found a bit more to criticize in Mud than I did, your rating of the film at 80 percent of a perfect score (4 stars out of 5) was identical to mine, which was 8 Stars out of 10. Great minds, and all that.

It is my policy to never watch anything in SD these days. Tomorrow morning, though, I am recording Take Shelter from an SD Encore channel because there are no HD showings presently scheduled. Unfortunately Cox OKC carries only one Encore channel in HD but has a gazillion of them in SD. If I can stomach the PQ I'll watch Take Shelter soon and try to do my own report comparing and contrasting it to Mud.

Alas, the print used by Encore for the SD showing of Take Shelter I had recorded had been cropped from 2.35:1 to 4:3, thereby rendering it unwatchable, at least to my eyes. I'll just have to wait and see if it shows up later on an HD channel.
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post #10 of 50 Old 05-23-2013, 11:14 AM
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Alas, the print used by Encore for the SD showing of Take Shelter I had recorded had been cropped from 2.35:1 to 4:3, thereby rendering it unwatchable, at least to my eyes. I'll just have to wait and see if it shows up later on an HD channel.

Aw, that's too bad. I hope you can catch it when it comes to an HD cable channel; I think you'll enjoy it. I just checked and it's not on Netflix streaming, but Jeff Nichols' first film Shotgun Stories is. I haven't seen that yet, so I will have to stream that myself.
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post #11 of 50 Old 05-23-2013, 03:11 PM - Thread Starter
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I loved Shotgun Stories (and Take Shelter) - almost documentary like and the story is unique to me.

Eve: I thought I was through getting involved with men who were trouble. Falling in love on a look. I can't look at you.

Mickey: You have perfection about you. Your eyes have music. Your heart's the best part of your body. And when you move, every man, woman and child is forced to watch.
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post #12 of 50 Old 05-24-2013, 04:55 AM
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I loved Shotgun Stories (and Take Shelter) - almost documentary like and the story is unique to me.

I watched Shotgun Stories last night on Netflix. Wow. It's a really powerful story and an incredible film for those who appreciate the art of storytelling and the natural feel and pace of realistic portrayals that stay far away from Hollywood bowdlerizations of actual human beings living real lives. This is an amazing film for anyone to make, and even more so because it's the debut of writer/director Jeff Nichols, who was just 26 years old when most of the principal photography was shot. Its star Michael Shannon is a powerhouse of an actor who manages to convey an awful lot of depth and subtext with very little dialogue, and he has a compelling screen presence.

Thanks for talking it up. I love it. I'm going to make it a point to follow Nichols' and Shannon's careers. They are both magnificent at what they do.
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post #13 of 50 Old 05-24-2013, 05:22 AM
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I have now seen all three of Jeff Nichols' films. I can't praise this young writer/director enough. He tells small stories really well, with a great ear for natural dialogue and a terrific eye for capturing authentic rural landscapes. His films evoke a genuine small town feel, and depict real, unsanitized-by-Hollywood home exteriors and interiors, with a great eye for detail.

His movies are male centered with at least one strong female in the male protagonist's life on whom he can rely and trust. He seems to explore similar themes:

1) Depicting rural/small town middle America authentically and fondly, but without sentimentality;
2) A strong male struggling with inner turmoil;
3) The struggle between the good and evil in each of us;
4) Marital strife and how it affects the couple and those in their immediate ambit;
5) How vital and strong familial bonds can be to our lives, in spite of any marital strife in them;
6) The sense of community in a small town;
7) The loneliness and desperation ordinary people routinely face, despite living within a family and a community;
8) A sense of hope for the future, even in the face of constant struggle.

Nichols has a terrific facility with letting his films flow at a languid pace, true to life, and making the ordinary tasks of daily living interesting and compelling to watch. I think his ability to evoke a "feel" of a place and the sense of who his characters are at his own, slow pace is similar to how Terrance Malick does in some of his films. In particular, his first two films capture this feeling much like Malick's first film Badlands did, but without any voiceover or exposition. He seems to be a big believer in the "show, don't tell" school of story telling. I am too.
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post #14 of 50 Old 05-24-2013, 10:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Good observation on the sense of place he captures. He seems to have an innate feel for the craft of camera placement and editing - he's probably very good at visualizing the editing process as he shoots. For instance there's a shot or two of the street in TS that just sort of go by, but in those few seconds you are there.

I haven't seen Mud (usually wait for the BD) but assuming I like it, he's 3 for 3 with me, and that's very unusual. For my personal tastes, he's the most impressive new film maker I've seen, and I've thought that statement through smile.gif I hope whatever crap he went through in his own family (there must have been something, his work is so informed by the concept of family) keeps bugging him, if he ever works it out, he might turn to rom-coms or something biggrin.gif

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post #15 of 50 Old 05-24-2013, 11:54 AM
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His movies are male centered with at least one strong female in the male protagonist's life on whom he can rely and trust..

Unfortunately, I have not yet had a chance to see either of Jeff Nichols earlier films but, as noted in earlier posts, I really liked Mud. Although Matthew McConaughey's Mud was just the kind of man you describe as the typical central male in Nichols' films, the love of Mud's live, Juniper, played by Reese Witherspoon was anything but either strong or reliable. Juniper had spent her life running from commitment and was unreliable to the point of treacherousness. Anyway, Mud is a terrific film.
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post #16 of 50 Old 05-24-2013, 11:57 AM
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^^^I was referring to Ellis' mother as strong. She wore the pants in the family, and Ellis is the strong male lead, not Mud.
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post #17 of 50 Old 05-24-2013, 12:06 PM
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^^^I was referring to Ellis' mother as strong. She wore the pants in the family, and Ellis is the strong male lead, not Mud.

Gotcha. The mother was the grownup in the family. She was played by the wonderful Sarah Paulson, another one of Jeff Nichols' great casting choices. I just hadn't thought of the mother in connection with Mud. Of course, the film was as much about her son Ellis as it was about Mud.
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post #18 of 50 Old 07-30-2013, 02:41 PM - Thread Starter
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BD due Aug.6.

Eve: I thought I was through getting involved with men who were trouble. Falling in love on a look. I can't look at you.

Mickey: You have perfection about you. Your eyes have music. Your heart's the best part of your body. And when you move, every man, woman and child is forced to watch.
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post #19 of 50 Old 08-08-2013, 12:22 AM
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Just watched this tonight and really enjoyed it. The acting was superb and I really enjoyed the backdrop as well as the plot masquerading as the films primary thrust wink.gif Well done and worth a rent!

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post #20 of 50 Old 08-08-2013, 03:03 PM
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Just watched this tonight and really enjoyed it. The acting was superb and I really enjoyed the backdrop as well as the plot masquerading as the films primary thrust wink.gif Well done and worth a rent!
+1
A slow paced film, but a good one.

The 2 boys are actors to keep an eye on.

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post #21 of 50 Old 08-08-2013, 07:00 PM
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+1
A slow paced film, but a good one.

The 2 boys are actors to keep an eye on.

Those boys were indeed terrific. And as I think we have agreed before, Matthew McConaughey has really hit his stride as an actor. These days, I look forward to his performances. It has been a looong time since U-571.smile.gif
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post #22 of 50 Old 08-10-2013, 03:17 PM
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Ohh yeah this was enjoyable. The good movies are out there just gotta dig through all the crap. Nice PQ on the BD too.

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post #23 of 50 Old 08-11-2013, 04:41 AM
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I watched this on Amazon streaming yesterday. Very well done movie! This is the first "new" movie I've watched in quite a while that I would call "very good" vs "I enjoyed it", "Good action movie", "I couldn't make it all the way through", " I want those two hours of my life back", " Give me an effing break", etc.

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post #24 of 50 Old 08-17-2013, 03:45 PM
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Not my type of movie but based on the rave review, I caught the SD version from our library, free.

Tye Sheridan has a lot of future. Like someone mentioned already, it's refreshing for a "Hollywood" movie. It's far better than a lot of action movies this year with huge budgets but hollow scripts.

I also like Sam Shepard's role here.
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post #25 of 50 Old 08-17-2013, 06:07 PM
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Tye Sheridan has a lot of future. Like someone mentioned already, it's refreshing for a "Hollywood" movie. It's far better than a lot of action movies this year with huge budgets but hollow scripts.

I also like Sam Shepard's role here.
Yep, good stuff.smile.gif

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post #26 of 50 Old 08-27-2013, 05:12 PM
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+1
A slow paced film, but a good one.

The 2 boys are actors to keep an eye on.
Once again we're both on the same page with the emphasis on "slow paced". I liked it too and not that the slow pace was bad BUT rather how it was utilized . I have handled slow or slower as long as it can hold my attention.

It took forever for the film to reveal itself and let you know what exactly where it was heading. Now I know and understand character development and all that but at some point I have to know what the heck is happening or what the agenda is. And that timeline was approx about 25 min in when one of the boys and his mom was driving to Walmart which y'all know what I'm talking about.

I nearly hit the eject right about then because at that point, I was like..I had no idea where all of this is heading to. The writer has to grab your attention or make it known the purpose sooner than that and can't just "diddle daddle" for that long of time esp in the beginning.

But I hung in there mainly because those 2 boys, they were amazingly precocious for their age. IMHO they were 10x better and more believable than those kids in Super 8.
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post #27 of 50 Old 08-27-2013, 11:01 PM
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Once again we're both on the same page with the emphasis on "slow paced". I liked it too and not that the slow pace was bad BUT rather how it was utilized . I have handled slow or slower as long as it can hold my attention.
Absolutely.smile.gif

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It took forever for the film to reveal itself and let you know what exactly where it was heading. Now I know and understand character development and all that but at some point I have to know what the heck is happening or what the agenda is. And that timeline was approx about 25 min in when one of the boys and his mom was driving to Walmart which y'all know what I'm talking about.
Yup.

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I nearly hit the eject right about then because at that point, I was like..I had no idea where all of this is heading to. The writer has to grab your attention or make it known the purpose sooner than that and can't just "diddle daddle" for that long of time esp in the beginning.
Agreed.
With some filmmakers I have a history with, I'll give more time (Malick, for example).
However, as a general rule, a movie must give me SOME reason (at a 1/2 hour in) to continue devoting some of my ever declining lifespan to.... wink.gif

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But I hung in there mainly because those 2 boys, they were amazingly precocious for their age. IMHO they were 10x better and more believable than those kids in Super 8.
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post #28 of 50 Old 08-28-2013, 06:19 AM
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I saw Mud today and despite my high expectations they were exceeded. As wonderful as Matthew McConaughey was in The Lincoln Lawyer I thought he was even better in Mud. Reese Witherspoon was wonderful as a high mileage but still beautiful woman who Mud has been hopelessly in love with since childhood. The surprise to me was young Tye Sheridan who plays 14 year old Nick and, along with his friend Neckbone, helps Mud. The film is as much Ellis' as it is Mud's and young Sheridan was brilliant. Ellis' parents are played by two more genuine southerners, both Deadwood graduates, Ray McKinnon (Reverend H.W. Smith) and Sarah Paulson (Miss Isringhausen). Both are among the best actors working today and proved it in Mud.

I was happy to see Michael Shannon, yet another southerner, who plays Neckbone's uncle. Shannon's performance was excellent but the role underutilized his considerable talent. Finally the father and one of the sons of a family that is after Mud for reasons that are explained early in the film are played by two more southerners, that wonderful old time actor, Joe Don Baker, as the father, and Paul Sparks as his son. Those who mainly remember Sparks for his memorable but quirky performances as Mickey Doyle on Boardwalk Empire will have a hard time recognizing him here, where he plays a vindictive thug.

Finally, the writing and the direction, both supplied by Jeff Nichols, were outstanding. Mud is a wonderful film, highly recommended, 8 Stars out of 10.

Thanks Gwsat. I saw the trailer for this will give it a look.

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post #29 of 50 Old 08-28-2013, 08:48 AM
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Thanks Gwsat. I saw the trailer for this will give it a look.

You won't regret it. Not only are the two boys wonderful in Mud, Matthew McConaughey and Reese Witherspoon are equally so. In fact the great work done by the film's gifted ensemble cast elevates it.
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post #30 of 50 Old 08-28-2013, 09:01 AM
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You won't regret it. Not only are the two boys wonderful in Mud, Matthew McConaughey and Reese Witherspoon are equally so. In fact the great work done by the film's gifted ensemble cast elevates it.

Blind buy it is then! smile.gif
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