A good story, bolstered by first-rate acting and directing, can still give low-budget movies a good chance to make a neat profit and give mentally adult people a reason to go to the movies. “Mud” is, in my view, one of those very special movies.
Like Mark Twain’s “Tom Sawyer,” and “Huckleberry Finn,” which inspired writer-director Jeff Nichols, “Mud” is a coming-of-age story about two boys learning about the pains and joys of love and life, with the Mississippi River serving as the backdrop. Twain wrote his tales in the late 19th Century. “Mud” is contemporary.
Matthew McConaughey, as Mud, who hides on an island in the river because he is wanted for murder, turns in an excellent performance. Tye Sheridan, and Jacob Lofland, as the two young teen-age boys who try to help him, and Reese Witherspoon, as the woman he tries to reunite with, match McConaughey’s performance, with Sheridan standing out as the central character.
We saw it a the Ritz 13, which was doing really big business Sunday afternoon. “Mud” had a respectable turn-out, with adults out-numbering teenagers by a large margin. The reason, thoiugh, was that the parking lot was packed because “Iron Man III” was playing on six screens. I can guarantee you the teenagers were not outnumbered in those theaters. I plan to see it, too. You know, young at heart and all that.