November 5, 2010

Leaves of Grass - 2010

Director: Tim Blake Nelson
Writer: Tim Blake Nelson
Starring: Edward Norton, Keri Russell, Tim Blake Nelson, Richard Dreyfuss, Susan Sarandon

"If everyone goes around making up their own rules, how can you find any truth?" English professor Bill Kincaid (Norton) is lured back to his Oklahoma roots with a false report of his twin brother Brady's (Norton) death by crossbow. Soon after his arrival, Bill realizes that he's there solely to provide an alibi for Brady, in case Brady's scheme against local drug lord Pug Rothbaum (Dreyfuss) goes wrong.

The best kind of film, to me, is one in which everyone involved is on the same page from day one, and this is one of them. Without Norton's involvement, there would have been no film. He was so integral that he took a 50% pay cut to play 100% more characters than usual, and it was well worth it. He excels in the dual role of professor and pot dealer (two brothers who have more in common than you might think). Dreyfuss's angry energy makes you yearn to see him on-screen more, but the romantic subplot with Russell's character seems as though it was added in last-minute, and the boys' relationship with their mother is also not addressed to the extent I thought it needed to be. There's also a sudden turn toward the violent at the hour mark, and the film ends up far from the madcap antics of identical twins that trailers made it out to be. However, it's far from the worst film out this year, so check it out if you run across it. B

1 comment:

  1. Really?? I thought Norton's performance as the hick brother was hammy and over-the-top! And the story was "meh" at best. It's so crazy to me how Norton was in full beast mode from like 1998-2002, and has just flat-lined ever since. His last two, "Leaves of Grass" and "Stone" didn't even get wide releases. It's a shame.