LEAVES OF GRASS
MOVIE: ** (out of 5)
DVD EXPERIENCE: *** (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
When a stuffy professor learns that his twin brother has been killed back in his abandoned home town in Oklahoma, he returns home. Soon, he learns the death was faked, and he’s pulled into a bizarre plot to double-cross one of the biggest drug dealers in town, all the while learning to appreciate what he has dismissed about his old life.
WHAT I LIKED
The biggest reason to see “Leaves of Grass” is the fact that it’s a strong spotlight on Edward Norton’s acting. It’s not uncommon for someone to play twins. It has been done successfully by great actors (like Jeremy Irons in “Dead Ringers”) and terrible actors (like Jean-Claude Van Damme in “Double Impact”) alike.
Still, Norton manages to give a level of nuance to the two sides of the coin, and with the affordability and ease of digital effects, it makes even a low-budget film like this pretty convincing.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
I’ve never been a big fan of drug movies, either stoner comedies or crime dramas showing the gritty underbelly of the drug trade. In a weird way, “Leaves of Grass” tries to be both, offering some comedic moments, mostly from director Tim Blake Nelson in a smaller role. There’s also some family white trash drama infused into the story.
Not an overt comedy, the story gets pretty dark, but this seems really unbalanced, especially near the end of the film with the conclusion of the drug dealing storyline.
“Leaves of Grass” is an okay venture into directing by Tim Blake Nelson, but he still has a lot to learn about helming a film.
Along with the theatrical trailer, this title comes with a commentary with stars Edward Norton and Tim Blake Nelson. There’s also a making-of featurette which spends most of its running time to Edward Norton playing dual roles.
WHO’S GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE
Fans of a high-brow stoner comedy.