I had a chance to sit with director/actor Tim Blake Nelson for his film Leaves of Grass. After seeing the film, I was thoroughly impressed with the characters and the performances that elevated the story in a very genuine way. Nelson wrote a story that looks like it might be a pot comedy featuring Edward Norton. I have to say though that the film is certainly much more.
I myself have two brothers, and found myself easily relating to the brothers both played by Edward Norton. Norton’s characters, Bill and Brady, are polar opposites in the way they live their lives but still share so much as human beings. It is rare to see two actors create the type of authentic chemistry that translates on screen. However, due to the acting prowess of Norton and the direction of Tim Blake Nelson, you find yourself watching two brothers that feel very real, and played by the same person no less.
Tim Blake Nelson continues to impress me with every step. I have loved him in small character roles like in Heavyweights, or strong versatile performances such as in O Brother Where Art Thou, and even in hilarious roles like Fido. It turns out that he is just a really intelligent human being that wanted to tell a story about Oklahoma, family and self discovery. As I said earlier, the film looks to be just another pot comedy with a really good cast. Nelson though, created characters that are easy to identify with and love.
I strongly recommend Leaves of Grass. While you may not be able to label it very easily, you will walk away and feel good about the experience. The film explores personal identity in a way that hasn’t really been shown yet, and really feels like a love story for anyone who might be homesick or just in need of strengthening some relationships in your life. Leaves of Grass is a great film filled with heart, humor and fantastic performances.
Leaves of Grass will open in theaters on April 2, 2010.
Watch the interview below: