Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Leaves Of Grass

A strange film by actor/writer/director Tim Blake Nelson, usually known for playing idiotic rednecks (even playing one again in this), he gets buddy Edward Norton to join him in a tale where the grass is always greener on the other side.

Edward Norton plays a set of twins in this weird drama about a man getting back to his roots. One brother is a top professor in the city while the other has stayed in his hometown of Oklahoma to grow drugs. Both of them are born from an intelligent, but now deceased, father who, like their mother, was a huge pot smoker. The hillbilly brother gets the other one down for an alibi as a drug meeting goes wrong. Whoops. They're both now embroiled in this tale where city boy tries to make amends with his family and, more importantly, himself.

If my little summary there made you think about going to see this. Don't. I couldn't stand it. It's awkward to the point where it almost seems like a parody. The CG of two Norton's in the same room is 90's technology at best sometimes, the whole story is complete nonsense (including a psychotic Jew struggling in debt as a side note) and the idea that he 'finds himself' is literally unfounded. Instead, you just feel like you're watching a stupid sequence of events, if this was anything but Norton (who seems to be doing a lot of shit recently) I just wouldn't have bothered at all. The love interest? Hardly touched upon. His relationship with his mother (Susan Sarandon) stalls before it begins and he doesn't seem to have learnt anything by the end, instead he's just a bit pissed off with it all.

This feels like someone liked the idea of twins, one being smart, the other being a criminal and getting some drama out of it. Even the good turn of Richard Dreyfuss and an appearance by Danny DeVito's daughter Lucy DeVito can't save it. It is bloody awful and Edward Norton, who after American History X and Fight Club was poised to be the next big thing, has instead showed that maybe, just maybe, he's not actually that good, or he just has a shit agent. I mean, come on, Norton as The Hulk was terrible - and he must have been the worst superhero on screen surely. Thoughts?

Overall, not enough drama to be a drama, not enough anything to be anything. At least with some shit action flick, you get some action. The film is as patronising as the Walt Whitman title it decided to have and the textbook pop-philosophy behind it. Leave alone.

Rating: 3/10

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