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Posts Tagged ‘Arkansas Delta’

sksksk N A  and Matthew McConaughey

Tye Sheridan, Jacob Lofland and Matthew McConaughey

“MUD” My rating: A- (Opens April 26 at the Leawood, Barrywoods 24, Studio 30, Cinemark Palace)

130 minutes | MPAA rating: PG-13

Damn that Matthew McConaughey.

Just when you’re comfortable writing him off as a lazy, pretty-boy romcom hack, he decides to start really acting.

Over the last couple of years he’s blown off his easy-going leading-man ways and tackled edgy, multifaceted characters in films like “Bernie,” “Killer Joe,” “The Paperboy” and “Magic Mike.” Even if you don’t like the movies, you’ve gotta love what McConaughey is accomplishing here.

That great run continues with “Mud,” the third feature from Arkansas filmmaker Jeff Nichols.

Nichols writes and directs superlative dramas about working-class folk. His first two efforts — “Shotgun Stories” (about a modern day feud between the brothers of two families) and “Take Shelter” (with Michael Shannon as a disaster-obsessed man who builds an elaborate tornado shelter in his yard) – achieved a sort of gritty poetry.

“Mud” is just as powerful. Maybe moreso.

Unfolding along the waterways of the Arkansas Delta, “Mud” centers on 14-year-old Ellis (Tye Sheridan) and his best bud, Neckbone (Jacob Lofland).

Both kids survive on what their families can scratch out of the river. Ellis helps his father catch and sell crawdads, fish, and turtles. Neck, an orphan, lives in a seedy mobile home court with a slacker uncle (Michael Shannon) who harvests fresh-water oysters with a crude homemade diving helmet. (more…)

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