missjunebug and her trusty Mr.JB had some fun Memorial Day weekend checking out the film Mud at their local indie film house. It was a serendipitous find as they were on their way to dinner at their fave pizzeria D’Amore’s (Best slice NYC/NJ style crust in SoCali!) when they saw that the marquee showtime for Mud aligned perfectly for a postprandial visual treat!
And what a treat it was! Mud is a Southern-rooted coming-of-age adventure story, but missjunebug thinks it’s one of the best love stories she’s ever seen. Romantic love, unrequited love, the love of a father and a mother for a son, the love of a son for his sad and maritally troubled parents, the love of a sharp shooter surrogate parent for his wayward “son,” the love of a young man for a captivating fugitive, the love of that same young man for a fickle high school heartbreaker, this film has more forms of love than the island’s creeks have cottonmouths. And, yes, there are plenty of snakes in this story, and not just the river dwelling kind.
The cast is, well, perfectly cast! Matthew McConaughey lives up to his name Mud in the most obvious way: he’s sorely in need of a bath, but hiding out on an island in a boat up a tree will do that to you. As he says himself, looking at said boat: “It’s a helluva thing.” The tree-shelved boat proves invaluable to him in the course of the film as he makes a plan to reunite with the love of his life Juniper played spot on by Reese Witherspoon, the quintessential Southern Siren.
Ellis proves invaluable as well. In a plot worthy of Mark Twain, Ellis and his friend Neckbone (coolest handle of the film) make sure Mud has the food and supplies he needs during his forced island staycation. Mud has done a bad, bad thing and Triple 6 bounty hunters abound, but the boys remain undaunted. The fourteen-year old Ellis played without one false note by Tye Sheridan captivates from beginning to end. He is the heart and soul of the film and possesses a moral compass that puts the adults to shame. Heroics and heartbreak help define this bittersweet tale, but it never lapses into sentimentality. Ellis definitely comes of age, but he also recognizes the power of love in all its forms.
mjbTip: See this film a.s.a.p.!