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Leaves of Grass [DVD]

14 customer reviews

Price: £5.75 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Edward Norton, Keri Russell, Susan Sarandon, Henry Max Nelson
  • Directors: Tim Blake Nelson
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Lions Gate Home Entertainment UK Ltd
  • DVD Release Date: 21 Feb. 2011
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004EMS0PW
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 45,847 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Tim Blake Nelson writes and directs this offbeat comedy about pot, poetry, philosophy and coming to terms with the past. Edward Norton plays two identical twin brothers, both highly intelligent but diametrically opposite. Bill is an Ivy League classical philosophy professor who has worked hard to distance himself from his down-at-heel small-town upbringing, while his marijuana-dealing brother Brady still lives in their hometown in Oklahoma. When Brady tricks Bill into returning home for the first time in 20 years, Bill is furious and threatens to take the next plane back to the East Coast. However, he ends up staying long enough to visit his estranged mother (Susan Sarandon) and fall under the spell of free-spirited local teacher Janet (Keri Russell).

Synopsis

An Ivy League Classics professor becomes mixed up in his lawless identical twin's drug dealings after receiving word that his brother has been murdered and returning to Oklahoma to discover he's been hoodwinked. To say that Bill Kincaid (Edward Norton) is ashamed of his upbringing is an understatement at best. Turning his back on his working-class parents and working diligently to erase any traces of his Southern accent, Bill develops a reputation as a true scholar dedicated to excellence and philosophical exploration. His brother, Brady (also Norton), on the other hand, devotes most of his time to growing marijuana plants. Arriving home to find Brady very much alive, Bill winds up mending bridges with their capricious mother and reluctantly agrees to help his brother out of a tight jam involving notorious drug kingpin Pug Rothbaum, who might just send both siblings to an early grave. Meanwhile, Bill can't help noticing that free-spirited poet Janet (Keri Russell) has somehow managed to find true happiness in the most unlikely surroundings. Actor-director Tim Blake Nelson's (O Brother, Where Art Thou?) taut comedy-thriller Leaves Of Grass also stars Susan Sarandon and Richard Dreyfuss.

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By LittleMoon VINE VOICE on 10 Dec. 2010
Format: DVD
Bill Kincaid (Edward Norton) is the American Philosophical Journal's "New Face of Classical Thought", and about to land his own institute at the prestigious Ivy League Brown University. The movie opens at the close of one of his lectures:

"... the balance needed for a happy life is illusory. And as soon as in our gorgeously flawed human way we think that we've attained it we're pretending divinity and we're gonna crash."

No sooner is the philosophical seed for Leaves of Grass sown, than we're whisked to some truck-stop where Brady Kincaid (Edward Norton) is spelling out his own philosophical bent: "We don't deal in crystal meth ..." he tells the motley-crew squeezed round the plastic table, for this is the guy whose IQ is higher than his brother's, and has directed it towards building the "Taj Mahal to hydroponics", resulting in the best marijuana in Oklahoma.

The twins' mother (Susan Sarandon) has checked herself into some kind of retirement home, and wonders aloud to Brady if Bill will ever come back to see them again: "I think it's gonna take one of us dyin' to get him to come back down here...." Needless to say, Bill finds himself drawn back home, wrenched from his life of books, into a world he's spent the last 12 years escaping from.

Edward Norton is possibly perfect - long may he reign thus as brilliant and underrated. Few actors can boast such versatility, and pull it off so that the whole "twin thing" rises above being a gimmick. Backup is solid in the forms of Sarandon, drug baron Richard Dreyfuss, and director Tim Blake Nelson himself playing Brady's best pal Bolger. Keri Russell is bright (and underused!) as the would-be poet, cat-fish wrestler, love-interest, who recites Walt Whitman's "unashamed passion ...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Irishmark Green Bay USA on 22 Nov. 2010
Format: DVD
Edward Norton has produced some first class performances, starting with his debut alongside Richard Gere in the 1990's, but, for me, this is the finest to date from this under-acclaimed actor. Here, he plays both of two idential twins who could hardly be more different in character: one, a narcotic lab-running country lad from rural Oklahoma, the other a philosophy professor at Harvard. If the portrayal of both is just a tiny bit cliched, it's as near as dammit that you're going to get in 1.5 hours on the big screen, and what really matters to me is that he plays both roles equally perfectly (his portrayal of the country boy is often brilliantly hilarious). Often the two are together facing each other and arguing and fighting, so it's obviously shot seperately, but excellent direction/production makes it work just right. It must be very hard to do well, dialoguing with someone who isn't there, but Norton does it brilliantly and in my world, this achievement alone would get him the oscar (but...won't happen). The story is well told as well: no need for me to ruin it for you, but Norton's accomplishment is, to my taste, a career-best thus far.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Stephen Kennedy TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 4 Dec. 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Leaves of Grass - or as it might be called the Tim Blake-Nelson show, since he conceived, wrote, directed and even has a supporting role in it, is a noble attempt at genre mixing. We are introduced to two twin brothers who have long since kept their distance and lived very different lives - one the philosophy professor with Harvard aspirations, the other the grower of the titular weed, played by Edward Norton on double duties. Leaves of Grass as literary great by Walt Whitman alludes to the former, proverbial Leaves of Grass allude to the latter. He makes an excellent go at portraying both characters and keeping them firmly separate in your mind.. not an easy thing to do, though he does seem somewhat more muted in his performance than the material seems to call for. The story has the philosophical brother return to his Oklahoma roots when he thinks there has been a death in the family, only for a complicated run of events to transpire, as the hick brother tries to get his weed business past some critical negotiations. Keri Russell's likeable love interest seems to hit the tone the rest of the movie strives for - down to earth country girl at heart who actually is as much a philosopher and poet and as clever as either of Norton's characters.
One of the things this movie has going for it is it's resistance to pigeon-holing. Just as you think you have it sussed, it will throw you a curve ball. It's a sweet romance hidden inside a Coen Brothers riffing philosophical black comedy thriller with a soupcon of Tarantino-esque violence which suddenly appears once you have been lulled into a false sense of security. While laudable, this does make for a tonally uneven film, likely to make you wish for more of one aspect or another, depending on your leaning.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jaysview on 7 Mar. 2013
Verified Purchase
Great cast, good acting. Edward Norton handles the twin brother roles very convincingly.

And now the plot :-(

Well I think they were aiming for the sort of film Fargo was (Desperate and not very bright people descend into disaster unexpectedly through foolish choices). Leaves of Grass however comes across as... well lets face it they lost the plot. They tried for half hearted comedy/romance then skewed off abruptly into trying to shock the audience with unexpected graphic violence. Unlike Fargo though, there is no audience belief in the desperation or foolishness of the characters - the motivation for what occurs in Fargo. Leaves of Grass characters are in fact promoted as being ultra intelligent and pretty laid back. A brutal murder is unexpectedly revealed to some of the innocent bystander characters and its met with the same indifference as being told tea will be 5 minutes late, even though the knowledge immediately implicates all of them in a murder in a death penalty state. Its just not convincing, nor is it successful as comedy in any form. Edward Nortons character keeps saying things like 'this is not real' which is what I as the audience was also thinking, but for far different reasons.

The plot has no inherent tension, so instead of laughing at comedy attempts or being shocked by sudden violence you just end up wondering at the incompetence of the directing/plot while the story unfolds and flaps weakly about in front of you. They tried for a romance that had no tension either so there was not even that subplot to fall back on. I am sure it all looked better on the screenwriters first draft, I certainly hope so or whoever bought it was nuts.
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