Reese Witherspoon & Sam Shepard
|6:00 & 8:30 each evening|
|1:00 & 3:30 matinees Sat & Sun|
Rated PG-13; 130 minutes
Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter (excerpted)
Matthew McConaughey stars in director Jeff Nichols' film about two Mississippi boys who forge a bond with a sympathetic fugitive. Mud is shot through with traditional qualities of American literature and drama. Jeff Nichols’ much-anticipated follow-up to his breakthrough second feature Take Shelter is a well carpentered piece of work marked by fine performances.
Ellis (Tye Sheridan) and his best pal Neckbone (Jacob Lofland) stumble into the grizzled, unkempt Mud (McConaughey), who’s hiding out in an old boat stuck up in a tree. Even though Mud soon admits that he’s killed a man in a dispute, the boys are willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and, in exchange for the promise that they can have the boat once he’s done, they start ferrying food across to him in a launch.
Mud’s getaway plans require the boys to steal an outboard motor for him but he also asks Ellis to contact his ladylove Juniper (Reese Witherspoon), who’s laying low in town waiting for the green light to join Mud. Also hovering, however, is a squad of bounty hunters led by a hulking bad old boy (Joe Don Baker), whose son Mud killed.
Nichols readily admits the influence of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn on his story, in addition to those of other Southern writers. Such stories used to be staples of American writing and there’s enough dramatic and emotional meat on this one to suspect that audiences will easily engage with it.
|6:30 & 8:45 each evening|
|1:30 & 4:00 matinees Sat & Sun|
Rated R; 113 minutes
In French w/subtitles
Kyle Smith, New York Post (excerpted)
In the summer of 1915, painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir (a fearsome Michel Bouquet) is 74 and fighting off the corrosion of age in the South of France when his son Jean (Vincent Rottiers) returns home from the war with an injury — and announces he intends to return to the front as soon as he is able.
A model (Christa Théret) who has fallen under the father’s spell becomes Jean’s lover and urges him to forget the war and stay home. The old man is simply disgusted at what he sees as his son’s absurd belief that the flag matters more than art.
Without showing any war images, Renoir is a quietly profound statement about the folly of WWI and France’s place in it. That this land of dreamers thought it could compete with the cold German war machine (and made a catastrophically unwise pact to join Russia in the event of conflict) is one of history’s great blunders.
Jean Renoir survived to become one of another of France’s great artists, making rueful anti-war films like The Grand Illusion. Perhaps this coda vindicated the elder Renoir’s belief that art is everything. Or was Jean Renoir’s hard-earned acquaintance with horror a necessary stage in the development of work of greater depth and power than his father’s?