Mud / Moonrise Kingdom

Mud is one of those films that Amazon randomly recommended to me, along with a list of others, inside an e-mail. Perhaps it was because I’d been renting other titles (Contact) that happened star Matthew McCounaghey. Either way, I was intrigued to see more about this man apparently living in the wild, surviving by his own means.


It turns out to be a bit more than that and far less of an Into the Wild or Prince Avalanche affair.

Mud [best pronounced with a strong Arkansas drawl: “Muuud”] is the name by which we come to know McCounaghey’s character.  Two teenage boys (known as Ellis and Neckbone) set off to explore a small local island amidst rumour of a boat lodged high up in the trees… Only to find Mud living there.

Initially, we know nothing of Mud’s intentions beyond a request for the two boys to help him with basic supplies of food – at the other end of this deal is the promise they can ‘keep’ his boat when his time comes to move on. But the issue of why mud is on this island gradually becomes clear and we come to learn that our initially perceptions may not have been accurate.

Aside from Mud and McCounaghey (another one of those films where you wonder whether he’s really just acting as himself), it’s the two young actors who really make this film in what could almost be described as a coming of age drama – it’s almost as if the writers and producers found a fragment of Stand By Me but didn’t quite know what to do with it.

I enjoyed Mud. I don’t know how well I’ve conveyed that in this post but I also felt it was largely very predictable and, towards the end, it just seemed to deviate too far and ruined the credibility, for me, with becoming almost ridiculous.

Moonrise Kingdon

After experiencing my first Wes Anderson experience with The Grand Budapest Hotel last year, I’ve been keen to see more of his work and I still owe thanks to John Heisz for recommending a few titles (all of which are on my rental list).

A film about a boy and a girl who go off on a real adventure (camping, hiking, survival in the wild), concocting from the mind of a man who seems to bring great yet grounded imagination to an average real world space… I was always going to enjoy this! 🙂

As with other Anderson’s other films, you’ll see a lot of familiar faces in this one (Edward Norton and Bill Murray, to name two). I was surprised by the inclusion of Bruce Willis. We all know what he’s typically most famous for and yet, here he is again reminding us that he isn’t just an action man.

There are no deep musical scores and no over-the-top special effects that I could remember. It’s a creative film that brings a smile to your soul. Young love and adventure. I only wish I knew how to say more about it but I look forward to discovering my next Wes Anderson film.

Thinking about it, I still don’t know why it’s called Moonrise Kingdom?

Thanks for reading.

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