Seeing double? Ed Norton plays identical twins in Leaves of Grass

Ed Norton plays identical twin brothers
Ed Norton and his identical twin

One of the Special Presentations announced at TIFF is the new Edward Norton comedy Leaves of Grass where he plays an identical twins (one a Philosophy professor, the other a small-town pot grower). If anybody can pull this off, it’d be Norton. The film is produced and directed by Tim Blake Nelson, last seen in the last year hit The Incredible Hulk.

The plot according to IMDB: An Ivy League professor is lured back to his Oklahoma hometown, where his twin brother, a small-time pot grower, has concocted a scheme to take down a local drug lord. Sounds hilarious and Nelson being a comic actor himself, this could be great.

The rest of the cast looks pretty decent: Richard Dreyfuss, Susan Sarandon, Keri Russell and my favorite underrated actress of the moment, Melanie Lynskey (Charlie Sheen’s stalker neighbor in Two-and-a-Half Men).

I’ll definitely keep an eye on this one.

FlixChatter Review: The Painted Veil

This is one of the most touching and poignant movie I’ve seen in a very long time. The tag line says “Sometimes the greatest journey is the distance between two people.” And what a journey it really is.

The story takes place in China in the 1920s, which tells the story of a mid-class doctor (Walter) who marries an upper-class woman (Kitty) and moves to Shanghai. It’s clear from the beginning that she marries him only to please her family. In Shanghai, she has an affair with a fellow ex pat (Liev Schreiber, Watt’s real life partner), which is quickly discovered by her husband. As an act of vengeance, Walter whisks her off to a remote village ravaged by cholera. It is here, amongst the deadly epidemic and tough circumstances, that they rediscover their relationship and find purpose both as a couple and as a person.

The movie is superbly acted and well-written. Ed Norton is in top form as always (he’s easily one of the best actors working today) and Naomi Watts gives a wonderful, nuanced portrayal as the initially unlikable Kitty, but she slowly earns my sympathy as the film wears on. Toby Jones as the couple’s cheery neighbor Waddington also gives a notable performance.

What I love the most is how the movie presents the characters as they are, neither heroic nor evil (like most people are), they are simply human. The film does shy away from being ‘preachy,’ such as when dealing with a Catholic orphanage, focusing instead on how the characters evolve as the story progresses. Although the pace is a bit slow at times, the ending has such a redeeming quality that it’s worth every second. It also boast a beautiful cinematography of the lush rural setting in China.

It’s rare to find a movie that tells a wonderful human drama without being too cutesy or overly romantic. Love is more than a bed of roses or candlelit dinner in fact, it’s best experienced when you’d least expect it.


Have you seen this film? Let me know what you think.