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'Mud' examines love, relationships through a teen's eyes

Sep. 19, 2013 @ 07:20 AM

Movies and More reviewer John Gillispie thinks “Mud,” rated PG-13 and starring Tye Sheridan, Jacob Lofland, Matthew McConaughey and Reese Witherspoon, is an interesting drama.

Matthew McConaughey, the star of “We Are Marshall,” plays the title character in the drama “Mud,” which is available on DVD.

Set in the South, the character Mud is living alone on an island since he is being sought by the police. He is also being tracked down by a family seeking revenge against him. Joe Don Baker plays the leader of the family trying to find Mud before the police can.

Two teens named Ellis (Tye Sheridan) and Neckbone (Jacob Lofland) meet Mud and decide to help him try to escape. The boys do not have to help Mud, and I wondered why they decide to assist him. It seems that Ellis wants to help Mud because of a story that Mud tells. In his explanation to the teens, Mud places the blame for his situation on his love for a woman named Juniper (played by Reese Witherspoon).

Despite the film’s title, Ellis is the main character in the movie. Since he has never had his heart broken, Ellis has an idealistic view of romantic love despite the fact that his parents are struggling with their own relationship. When an older neighbor named Tom (played by Sam Shepard) tries to tell Ellis about the dangers of love, Ellis refuses to listen. This is a lesson that Ellis must learn on his own.

“Mud” is an entertaining drama that takes the time to create interesting characters. But, to me, the way the movie looks at love through the eyes of characters from different generations made the movie even better.

John Gillispie is the public relations director for the Huntington Museum of Art. Contact the writer at jgillisp@hmoa.org.