Mud is a beautiful film; thoughtfully written, artfully shot and expertly directed.
At its essence, Mud is about a boy growing in to manhood, and coming to understand love in all its forms -- between friends, a parent to a child, a man for a woman, and that how one person knows love as one thing, another person knows it as another.
Best friends Ellis and Neck find an abandoned boat in a tree left behind from the last flood, and will use it as their own secret base. They discover that their secret boat is not so secret, as a man has been living from it for a couple days -- the titular, Mud. The story follows the boys as Mud tells them how his circumstances led him to his current state: he is meeting his girlfriend, but he's in some trouble and will need some help to get back on his feet. Ellis, a believer of true love prevailing above all, that love is something you hold tight and fight for, decides to help Mud.
Matthew McConaughey really is fantastic in this. The boys, Tye Sheridan (Ellis) and Jacob Lofland (Neckbone) are spectacular too!
*** POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD ***
Storytelling is at its finest, when you come to realize that Mud's increasingly complicated past (metaphorically) parallels Ellis's current life, and that is what is driving Ellis's desire to help Mud. Ellis is innocent, and his understanding of love is so pure, you almost want to believe in happy endings too. This movie is almost magic; set in the woods, surrounded by water, and whispered secrets by the bonfire.
I wish I could articulate this better, but if it's not clear yet: I really like this movie.