LEAVES OF GRASS
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Writer/director Tim Blake Nelson retains his status as one of America's most adventurous and original filmmakers with a familial comedy of errors, and best intentions gone astray.
Edward Norton does dual character duty as identical twin brothers from the back woods of Little Dixie, Oklahoma. Ivy league philosophy professor Bill Kincaid (Norton) is revered by his peers and adored by his students.
Disappointments with his kooky mother Daisy (Susan Sarandon) and pot-growing brother Brady (also Norton) have caused Bill to sever all family ties until news of his brother's death, by crossbow, incites him to fly home for the funeral. But the "death" is just a trick by Brady to get his brother to act as his walking/talking alibi while he pays a life-threatening visit to his Jewish tycoon drug sponsor Pug Rothbaum (Richard Dreyfuss) in Tulsa.
Nelson's mixed bag of matter-of-fact-violence, poetic references, philosophic ideas, and cultural stereotypes find their uneasy dramatic balance in Edward Norton's brilliant handling of opposite twin roles. Tim Blake Nelson also plays Brady's best friend Bolger in a thoroughly independently minded movie that plays loose at putting across big ideas.
Rated R. 104 mins.
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