The best thing about Mud is that it feels so real and yet it maybe never happened at all. Jeff Nichols broke big, relatively, with the release last year of Take Shelter – a film about a paranoid schizophrenic with apocalyptic delusions – but his literal debut, Shotgun Stories was a small, gritty, rural-set drama that was barely seen by anybody. They seem a disparate pair at first and Mud, his third film and something of a modern-day fairytale, seemed on synopsis to take him out in a third different direction but in execution it actually unites the oeuvre of this esoteric auteur. Delusions, dynasties and the deep-south are all smashed together in this sublime, smile-evoking story.
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