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Mud

Air Date: 05/03/13 14 year-old Ellis lives on a makeshift houseboat on the banks of a river in Arkansas with his parents. He sneaks out early one morning to meet his best friend, Neckbone, also 14, who lives with his uncle. The two boys set out to an island on the Mississippi River, where Neckbone has discovered an unusual sight-a boat, suspended high in the trees. And that's when they meet Mud (Matthew McConaughey). Mud is a gritty, superstitious character; his clothes are dirty, his tooth is cracked, and he needs help. He tells the boys he will give them the treehouse boat, his current hideout, in exchange for food. Neckbone is reluctant, but Ellis brings food to Mud, and they develop a tentative friendship. Ellis learns that Mud has killed a man in Texas, and police and bounty hunters are looking for him, but Mud is more concerned about reuniting with his longtime love, Juniper (Reese Witherspoon). Ellis, who has recently developed his own crush, agrees to help Mud escape with Juniper. As the boys risk everything to reunite these seeming mythical lovers, Ellis's own ideas about love and romance are challenged by the strains in the relationships closest to him: his parents' marriage is dissolving while he himself falters in his efforts to impress May Pearl. Through it all, Ellis struggles to look for an example of love that he can believe in, learning about the unspoken rules and risks of love and the reality of heartbreak. Hear more on this week's film review with Robin Hollabird.