Mud was very well-received by a packed house at the Paramount Theatre for its Regional Premiere at Austin's SXSW Film Festival. The crowd particularly loved local favorites director Jeff Nichols and the always shape-shifting Matthew McConaughey. (How is it possible that McConaughey hasn't even been nominated for an Oscar yet?) Mud is a charming, entrancing film that has almost lyrical quality as it unfolds along the rural backwoods of Arkansas's Mississippi River. The story revolves around the adventures of two young teenage boys who meet a mysterious drifter appropriately named Mud.
Mud is hiding out an island in the Mississippi River awaiting the arrival of his beloved Juniper. The story has elements of drama, thriller, and romance. While the film is slightly too long and the story has a few unnecessary and distracting subplots, its overall eloquence and is absorbing. So like the Mississippi, the story meanders a little too much.
The River setting becomes a character in the film that shapes the drama playing out along it. The two teenage actors are excellent, but the film is tour-de-force for McConaughey who is its heart and soul. Highly recommended for those who like serious drama and appreciate natural beauty.