Mud, played by Matthew McConaughey, is a very interesting character. He lives/hides on what seems an island off a river in Arkansas. He’s in love with Juniper who might be the reason he is not going anywhere in life. He’s a fugitive who is stumbled upon by two young boys and the three of them develop a friendship of sorts as they help him restore a boat that is stuck in a tree so that he can escape, pick up his beloved Juniper and sail on to a happily ever after life! That’s sweet…but Mud, the movie, is more about Ellis, one of the two boys. He sees in Mud much more than a friend. As his family life is falling apart with his parents splitting and his dad losing his house and livelihood, Ellis sees Mud as a romantic father figure. Mud is Ellis’ proof that love exists no matter what and that life can stomp on you but not beat you down. Where that goes might be tragic or not depending on your point of view. Overall it is a fantastic coming of age story with great performances, charming settings and confident direction.