20. Mud

DIRECTOR: Jeff Nichols

CAST: Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Sarah Paulson, Sam Shepard and Michael Shannon

RELEASE DATE: TBD

Take Shelter writer/director Jeff Nichols continues his string of ominous Southern parables, and McConaughey continues his string of challenging and interesting work, with the story of two young boys who befriend a fugitive.

 

NBC announced this week that Mads Mikkelsen has been cast as Hannibal Lecter in a television series set prior to Thomas Harris’ Red Dragon, the first in Harris’ Lecter novels. And with that casting news I’m suddenly interested in something I would otherwise dismiss as yet another mediocre attempt to coax magic from the empty hat Jonathan Demme’s Silence of the Lambs left behind. Why might Mikkelsen make a difference? Because, for one thing, if you squint he looks just like Viggo Mortensen. For another, he recently won Best Actor at Cannes for his role in Thomas Vinterberg’s The Hunt. More importantly, he became Nicolas Winding Refn’s (Drive) original silent and stoic badass after the two got their start in movies together in Refn’s Pusher trilogy. Here’s Mikkelsen as a one-eyed Viking in Refn’s Valhalla Rising (gore warning):

Please explain what just happened.

Four rabbits beat up a rattlesnake on my front lawn.

 

What is your earliest memory?

I was one year old and looking out the window of our apartment in the Bronx for the first time. I saw an angry, shouting man chasing a garbage truck that was apparently trying to leave him behind. I thought to myself, “Gee it’s tough out there, and kind of dirty, too.”

 

If you weren’t a film composer, what other profession would you choose?

As a child, I thought I was destined to be a matador. I couldn’t take my mind off of it until I got my first drum set.