A look at Mud – a new movie appearing soon at the GEM

On Tuesday, Oct. 22 Spotlight Films will be presenting Mud, a film written and directed by Jeff Nichols (Shotgun Stories, Take Shelter).

On Tuesday, Oct. 22 Spotlight Films will be presenting Mud, a film written and directed by Jeff Nichols (Shotgun Stories, Take Shelter). This tale, with a respectful nod to Stand By Me and Huckleberry Finn, is an adventure encompassing illusions of romance and security, with a cast of undergrown men and overgrown boys acting out their dramas in the Arkansas backcountry. Fourteen-year-old boys Ellis (Tye Sheridan, The Tree of Life) and Neckbone (Jacob Lofland) find a fugitive, Mud, (Matthew McConaughy, Dazed and Confused, The Lincoln Lawyer, Magic Mike) hiding out on an island on the Mississippi. Mud is a gritty character with a tale that would tingle the neck hairs of any reasonable 14-year-old boy: He killed a man for messing with the love of his life, Juniper (Reese Witherspoon, Water for Elephants), and is now the target of unscrupulous bounty hunters. Mud strikes a deal with the boys—a boat in a tree, a fort of sorts—in exchange for food and a little compassion for his plight. Ellis is more prone to wanting to help Mud, thus stressing his relationship with Neckbone.Interwoven into the main plot is the story of the boys’ family lives, intriguing tales of their own. For instance, Ellis is forced to confront the impending divorce of his parents and his blossoming into puberty, spurring a bold, hormone driven chivalrous act for a girl at school, May Pearl (Bonni Sturdivant). The boys carry out bold schemes in an effort to protect Mud and relay messages to Juniper who is holed up in a cheap hotel under the watchful eye of the bounty hunter Carver (Paul Sparks).One of the themes of this mostly well-done flick is the unspoken rules and risks of love and the reality of heartbreak.In this engaging tale McConaughy steps beyond his usual role as Glitter Town eye candy and turns in a strong performance. Despite the inevitability of a good ol’ stock American gun-infused showdown, Rotten Tomatoes critics (98 per cent) and audiences (84 per cent) rated the movie highly. IMDB gave it a 7.9 out of 10.Included in the three award nominations is the prestigious Cannes Palme d’or.Sam Shepard appears as Tom Blankenship, a one-time father figure for Mud and to whom he turns for help.Mud will be shown at 7:30 p.m. at the GEM Theatre.On Tuesday, Nov. 19 Spotlight will be showing 20 Feet From Stardom. Thanks to the Internet Movie Database (IMDB), Peter Canavese of Groucho Reviews, Roadside Attractions and Rotten Tomatoes. Thanks also to Maureen and Marius Paquet of the GEM Theatre and to our sponsors and supporters.

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