A convict escapes from a penitentiary in Arkansas. Two young boys find him in a boat on top of a tree, and he enlists their help to plan an escape with his love, a woman with a talent for finding trouble. This is Mud (2012), a film directed and written by Jeff Nichols; a movie on belonging and the devastating effects of having no roots, or having those roots torn out from under you.
The film follows two boys growing up in a tough world that risks swallowing them whole, and the adults in their lives, who try to do the right thing, while scraping a living and keeping their dignity. Mud shows a world that is fast going downriver. Literally. It is a vivid picture of a group of proud individuals, and the way they deal with the problems that an increasingly complex world throws at them.
Although Mud is part love story, part thriller, ultimately, it is a coming of age tale, in which hope, youth, and sheer determination give its protagonists a fighting chance to survive and succeed.