Jeff Nichols’ “Mud”: One of 2013’s Finest Films

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A very quick Sunday update, as the film world awaits the announcement of this year’s Cannes awards …

I finally saw Jeff Nichols’ “Mud” last night, and was riveted. It is the finest work yet from the director of the great “Shotgun Stories” and “Take Shelter,” a superior achievement that will surely rank among the year’s best.

It’s a dense story with a novel-like feel — virtually every character could warrant his or her own lengthy subplot, especially Joe Don Baker’s craggy King — but what Nichols does most effectively is give his actors time to truly build each scene into a slow-burning marvel. It’s a long movie, over two hours, but I can’t think of a wasted scene.

I could see Matthew¬†McConaughey enter Oscar talk, although it is more likely to occur with “Dallas Buyer’s Club.” Either way, he deserves praise. What an amazing stretch of films for him. Just as strong is young Tye Sheridan, the sweet, not-as-tough-as-he-thinks-he-is Ellis. This kid is a star in the making, anchoring every scene in which he appears.

What a wonderful film “Mud” is — one to be savored. Expect to hear much more on this from me. For those in Buffalo, hurry up, and see it while it’s still playing at the Eastern Hills Mall.

Have a lovely Sunday — enjoy “Arrested Development”! Her?

 

Photo courtesy of Roadside Attractions