What would you do with a chicken?
Ever stuck a chicken's head in your mouth? To, I think, most of us not growing on a farm, this seems a very odd, freaky sort of thing. The Mudge Boy is about that sort of thing, and we get to see the old chicken's-head-in-the-mouth trick enough times it starts to become ordinary, but ordinary is not what this film is trying to be.
We start on a typical low budget set of shots - a woman rides a bicycle through lush green forest, carrying eggs in cardboard trays in the front basket. The dirt road becomes steep, she gets off and pushes the bike. At the top of the hill, having huffed and puffed up, she gets on again, and pauses a second before falling over onto the side of the road, dead.
That is the Mudge boy's mother. Duncan Mudge, to be precise. He now lives with his poorly communicating father on the family farm. Duncan is having trouble getting on without his mother, and his father seems to have nothing to offer. He finds solace in one of the family chickens, "Chicken", who he takes with him everywhere, usually in the basket of his mother's bicycle. He sleeps with Chicken too, often while wearing his mother's clothes.
Perhaps it comes as no surprise that Duncan is already known as a weird kid. He is called Chicken Boy by several of his peers that he tries to be friends with. One of these is neighbor boy Perry, who exudes the same bravado and good-old-boy manner of the whole group (mostly the males, actually), but feels sympathy for Duncan and is actually nice to him.
The film meanders to a strange but fitting ending. It's not really a coming of age story, nor a redemption story, merely a kid-skirting-the-edge-of-trouble sort of tale, with a set of interesting quirks to boot.
Richard Jenkins is pitch perfect as the father. Tom Guiry also does wonderfully with the character of Perry, who walks a fine line between friendship and revulsion, both with Duncan and himself. I found Emile Hirsch to be a bit uneven as Duncan, sometimes not quite seeming part of the scene, and once missing what could have been one those "happy accidents" - something unexpected happening, and instead of going with it, pushing on with the scene. Some of this can possibly be attributed to the scant twenty day schedule - a couple more takes here and there might have shored up an otherwise remarkable performance.
Full profile for The Mudge Boy
Offsite info: Internet Movie Database
login to submit an article
A Film Review
2006-03-10 06:51:39... CheriLacy
The Lazy Moviewatcher's Top... Something of 2004
Despite being busy watching all of 2003's movies at home, this reviewer did actually hit the theater a few times this year
2004-12-30 22:39:13... andrew
2003 Awards Tracker
So many awards, so much recognition - it's amazing how these people don't develop an ego
2004-01-29 21:45:11... andrew
How to set up a cheap home theatre
Constant upgrades and a host of revolving standards make the home theatre market hard to decide when to jump in.
2003-05-27 17:52:42... mastadonfarm
submit a review here
submit a review here
indexes links credits privacy|
all contributed material © their respective authors
everything else © 2018 thatcow
link to this site