Wednesday, April 30, 2014
What We've Been Watching
This director's best documentary remains Helvetica, perhaps because the topic was fairly focused. In Urbanized he gathers a lot of different opinions from around the world about different urban areas and problems and solutions. It was interesting, but in the end it all seemed to come down to the fact that urban areas that work are those where the concerns of residents are met effectively. And I think we knew that already, didn't we?
I'd heard this was Matthew McConaughey's return to showing his potential as an actor so I was somewhat interested in seeing it. My husband saw it was streaming free on Amazon Prime so we watched it and it was a rewarding story indeed. The acting was top notch and the story was like a cross between Mark Twain and To Kill a Mockingbird, set on the Arkansas River.
It is a coming of age story defined by a 14-year-old boy's knowledge of what constitutes true love in the best sense. As the adults around him fail to live up to that understanding, he and a friend encounter the mysterious Mud living on an island. And things both fall into place and get more confusing, as is the way of both movies and of life. Excellent performances, especially from the local Arkansas boy who plays the best friend of the protagonist.
Although this is good, it seems like a standard coming of age story in many ways until the final scene of the movie, which redefines and broadens the entire story. It is that scene which suddenly makes one realize the masterpiece which is Mud.
I'm not crazy about Shakespeare but when I got done watching this I wanted to own the DVD. If only Joss Whedon would do more Shakespeare to follow this project ... then I might learn to love Shakespeare.