As I type these lines there are rumors that “Mud,” by the American Jeff Nichols, may find its way to the top rungs of the competition prizes—some are even talking of a Palme D’Or upset.
Matthew McConaughey, who came to the Croisette to present a film for the first time in his career, plays the Mud of the title, an enlightened vagabond living on a deserted island on the Mississipi river—his past is heavy with blunders.
Two independent-minded local boys, Neckbone (Jacob Lofland) and Ellis (the beguiling Tye Sheridan) find him and help bring him back into the fold of everyday, dry-land living. But doing this doesn’t come with its share of tests as Mud has an account to settle and amends to be made.
Between McConaughey’s acting—a compelling, nearly-mesmerizing performance—and Nichols’s organic, linear direction and a story set deep in America’s literary bosom (parallels to Mark Twain have been made by other critics), “Mud” seems poised to go far with its upcoming theatrical run, and fill many theatres, to say nothing of a possible upset here in Cannes tonight.
Winners’ names to be published tonight as they are announced during the closing ceremony.