Leaves of Grass

Leaves of Grass

Directed By: Tim Blake Nelson


Boy, this film on paper should have rocked my world. Tim Blake Nelson, stalwart performer from the Coens’ Oh Brother…, treads into their pool, making a genre defying thriller/comedy about twin brothers. You’ve got the usually exemplary Edward Norton playing both twins, one a knockabout weed dealer who woos the other sibling, an accomplished professor of Philosophy, back to the homestead he vowed to never return to. Madness ensues.

There’s so much here that could have been mined – the small town Synagogues, the quirky mix of ultraviolence and surreal country folk mixed with a dash of Heideggerian epistemology. Yet, in the end, it’s all a contrived mess, a film almost unwatchable when it takes clunky turns away from its core story. This type of mashup requires great dexterity, to balance the horror and the lightness, and in the right hands it can be astounding. Unfortuantely, this script misses on almost every shot, losing its way in one of the more shockingly tasteless endings in memory.

Grade: D


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