Tag Archives: Jeff Nichols

Review: Mud

This Southern Gothic update of Mark Twain’s study of a child’s eye of manhood establishes a fantastically minor-key sense of place, just as 2012’s Beasts of the Southern Wild did slightly downriver, with the Mississippi delta, before it.  A character study and coming of age story at heart, it is bleak, submerging its layers of magical realism more subtly than did Beasts. It may be remembered mostly as a notable early role in the McConaughsaince, the amorphous terminology with which we have come to describe Matthew McConaughey’s career reinvention as a “serious” actor of superior craft, and his inscrutable work here is inspiring and wholly effective for the film. At the same time, the attention McConaughey received for the film, while not inaccurate, is somewhat misplaced. Above all, it fails to take into account how talented filmmaker Jeff Nichols uses McConaughey, which is largely as one signpost on his much larger tapestry of Southern woe. Continue reading

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