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    October 28, 2013


    For a small indie movie like "Mud", chances are that you may have not heard of it. But the unfortunate thing about "Mud" is that it missed the the same spotlight that shined on "Moonrise Kingdom", "Amour" and "Beasts of the Southern Wild" during last year's Cannes Film Festival, in addition of its failure to secure distribution rights to make it eligible for Oscar contention. Despite all the difficulties, "Mud" was eventually screened at Sundance to warm applause and reception, before finding more audiences when it was finally released in theaters. In retrospect, "Mud" is an overlooked and the most under-rated movie of the year.

    Sets against the mystical backdrop of the Mississippi Basin in Arkansas, "Mud" is a coming-of-age drama about two Arkansas teenagers, Ellis (Tye Sheridan) and Neckbone (Jacob Lofland) who stumble across a mysterious man named Mud (Matthew McConaughey). Hiding on a small island , Mud enlists the boys' help to fix up a boat and to locate his girlfriend, Juniper (Reese Witherspoon). Mud's plan is to flee with Juniper from an imminent threat coming all the way from Texas. A Texan kingpin is looking for revenge over his son's death when Mud kills him to protect Juniper.

    Over the last 2 years, Matthew McConaughey has made a professional resurrection with a strings of critical performance in hits like "The Lincoln Lawyer", "Bernie" and soon to be released "Dallas Buyers Club". It is of no doubt that McConaughey is on his career peak and "Mud" simply cements it. His suave, excellent and believable performances are what making "Mud" a half-decent piece of drama. Of course, the two young leads of Tye Sheridan and Jacob Lofland also did their job very well in portraying the innocence yet hardcore charismatic features.

    Another half is purely of expressionist works that makes "Mud" more than just a decent drama. Jeff Nichols writes and directs "Mud" with elegance senses and full of self-awareness of how "Mud" is moulded from one of the richest archetype literary. "Mud" is pretty much akin to Mark Twain's classics like Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. Not only in terms of the thematic settings do "Mud" shared with the classics, but Nichols makes "Mud" as an excellent allegory for Twain. He diligently caters for the details with careful and strongly built plot which includes the universal themes like love and discovering adulthood.

    "Mud" is easily one of the best movies of the year with engaging plots and towering actings to boost the Southern drama recipes. "Mud" disbands all conceptual stereotyping by presenting the reality of love that no one will ever apprehend without bias, as well as the true hardship in preserving the ways of life.

    Green Tea Movie!! rates it a 4.5/5.0
    "Mud" stars Matthew McConaughey ("The Lincoln Lawyer") and Tye Sheridan ("The Tree of Life"), presented by Roadside Attraction and directed by Jeff Nichols ("Take Shelter") from his screenplay. The movie is rated PG13 and was on DVD release since August 6, 2013.

    Story: 4.5
    Casts: 5.0
    Cinematography: 5.0
    Effects: 4.0
    GREEN-TEA-O-METER: 18.7/20.0
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