By Sam Sabzehzar | May 8, 2011
Tim Blake Nelson has made a star-studded marijuana movie into a film that resonates a sense of existentialism in his sophomore effort at directing a feature.
As the actor, director, and writer of Leaves of Grass, Blake awards himself with the right beats, allowing his all-star cast to take over and make those beats resonate.
If something is to ring true, it need only ring true on the level of the human. Hinting towards that moment in life when our defining moments allow us to see ourselves clearly and the impact of the decision we make.
While Nelson, who is one of our finest actors today, takes a back seat to Edward Norton, who plays himself twice; once as Ivy league philosophy professor, and once as even smarter but less graduated twin brother, who stayed behind in Oklahoma and found himself drowning in a sea of success.
In Leaves of Grass, Nelson’s character plays Norton’s best bud, and as such, his loyal bud. Nelson, himself a native of Oklahoma, has a lot to say about the state as a whole, and wields the ability to say it with force and vigor.
If zero tolerance was to collide with compassionate use, Oklahoma, which holds a mandatory minimum sentence of 2 years to life for even growing even one plant, making it one of the strictest states in the union when it comes to drug laws, has made it clear that they, like Geronimo, will be the last ones to lay down their weapons in their war on drugs.
A social commentary on drug prohibition, the human spirit, and family, Leaves of Grass allows Nelson to share a piece of Oklahoma with all of us, and a sensible story unfolds that tells us a whole lot more about ourselves.
This film also stars Prop 19 proponent Susan Sarandon, Kerri Russell, Richard Dreyfuss, and was featured in the SXSW 2010 Film Festival.