Tuesday, March 4, 2014

"Leaves of Grass" with Edward Norton and Tim Blake Nelson (2010)

Tim Blake Nelson wrote, directed and stars in this hilarious comic/drama in which he plays Bolger, a friend to Brady Kincaid, played by Edward Norton; who also plays his own twin brother Bill Kincaid. Brady is a local marijuana grower in Oklahoma, while his brother Bill has left home and become a well-known Ivy League Professor of Philosophy, who is clearly headed for bigger things.

When a local drug lord, played by Richard Dreyuss, tries to make Brady start dealing hard drugs, Brady rebels and hatches a scheme with his best friend Bolger to take the drug lord down. Unknown to brother Bill is that he is to be a major player in this scheme. Brady has his brother notified that he has passed away, and when Bill returns for the funeral he discovers that he is being used.

Bill meets a woman named Janet, played by Keri Russell, and he falls for her. Meantime, the boys mother Daisy Kincaid, played by Susan Sarandon, has place herself in an old age home, where Brady delivers fresh pot to her. The town Sheriff is looking to bust Brady but can’t get a handle on anything incriminating to work with.

Brady leaves town for a day or so to conduct some “business” with the local drug lord. He has cut his hair and shaved so that he looks exactly like his brother Bill, who is now the target of the local sheriff, as well as some rival drug dealers who want Brady’s growing operation.

Somehow it all comes together in a most unexpected way, when Philosophy takes a back seat to brotherly love and this comedy becomes a full blown drama with a surprise ending. This film is a triumph for Tim Blake Nelson for writing and direction. Edward Norton shines in his dual role playing his own brother in this highly entertaining and thoughtful film.  An outstanding soundtrack; covering everything from Little Feat to Townes van Zandt and Steve Earle; makes this a sure fired winner.

These are the artists and songs featured in the film;

“Stand Up” by Doug Bossi

“Illegal Smile” by John Prine

“My Wildest Dreams Go Wilder Every Day” by The Flatlanders

“Faithful and True” by Richard Myhill

“Fat Man in the Bathtub” by Little Feat

“Rex's Blues” by Townes van Zandt

“Sailin' Shoes” by Little Feat

“Sweet Revenge” by John Prine

“Shall be Released” by The Band

“Lonely are the Free” by Steve Earle

“Boys from Oklahoma” by Cross Canadian Ragweed

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