Leaves of Grass
Directed by: Tim Blake Nelson
Cast: Edward Norton, Keri Russell, Susan Sarandon, Tim Blake Nelson, Richard Dreyfuss
Running Time: 1 hr 45 min
Release Date: September 19, 2010
PLOT: Brady Kincaid (Norton) lives in Oklahoma and scrapes by as a high-tech grower and connoisseur of Marijuana. His drug overlord, Pug Rothbaum (Dreyfuss), will kill Brady if he doesn’t start dealing in meth and heroin, but Brady doesn’t want to deal anything that he wouldn’t use himself. Brady has a solution to the problem, except he’s going to need an alibi. Enter twin brother Bill Kincaid (Norton), a professor in ancient philosophy living in Massachusetts. Bill hasn’t spoken to his family in years, but that’s all about to change…
WHO’S IT FOR? Fans of indie, such as myself. Be careful with this one, though, because it’s definitely marketed as a sweet, goofy mistaken identity kind of movie, and it isn’t. Not completely. It’s a bit like a polar bear: it looks awfully cute when it’s sleeping, but once it wakes up, you’re in some trouble.
I saw a preview for Leaves of Grass and I thought, “Cool! Edward Norton playing his own twin! Fun!” I hadn’t heard anything about it and it looked adorable and Keri Russell was in it – how could I go wrong?
And I didn’t quite go wrong, because it’s still a really interesting movie. Considering that Tim Blake Nelson wrote it and directed it, it’s an impressive accomplishment and knowing that makes it more enjoyable. Nelson also plays Brady’s best friend, Bolger, and since he’s forever Delmar from O Brother, Where Art Thou? to me, I want good things for him.
The problem is the violence and normally I’m a fan, so don’t think it’s any squeamishness on my part. It’s just that the script is so poetic and magnificent and profound that when the violence interjects itself, it’s too intrusive to be effective. It’s extremely cerebral and you get into that intellectual grove, and then without any warning there’s brains all over the walls. The first time it happened, I actually hopped around and yelled – and not in a good way: not in a Deep Blue Sea kind of way, where you’re shocked but also think it’s fairly awesome that you, the desensitized movie goer, can still be shocked. IT’S ALIVE! Not in that way. In the, “that was unnecessary and now I realize this movie is booby-trapped” vein.
So, watch out for that.
FINAL SCORE: 6/10