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Near the Everglades, the "river of grass," lives Cozy (named for her father's favorite drummer), lonely, in a loveless marriage, ignoring her kids. She fantasizes being a dancer, an acrobat, and a gymnast. One night at a bar she meets Lee. He's jobless, homeless, and unbeknownst to Cozy, is in possession of her father's handgun. Dad's a cop and lost the gun chasing a robber. Cozy and Lee climb a fence to swim in a pool. Playing around with the gun, they think they kill the pool's owner, so they go on the lam. An odd partnership develops even though they're short on ideas. But how can they escape their barren lot if they don't even have a quarter for the road toll?Written by
Settled Down Like Rain
Written by Gary Louris and Mark Olson
Published by Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp.
O/B/O itself and Pedal Blue Music (BMI)
Performed by The Jayhawks
Courtesy of American Recordings
By arrangement with Warner Special Products See more »
Like in Terrence Mallick's brilliant 1973 'Badlands', we have two, desperate, bored and unfulfilled young people here, who aimlessly - and pointlessly - fall into crime and then are then perpetually trying to avoid the repercussions from then on.
Charismatically, our two protagonists can't hold a candle to Charlie Sheen and Sissy Spacek of Badlands but as believable, everyday folk, Lisa Bowman and Larry Fessenden, as Cozy (a day-dreaming young woman named after her cop father's favourite jazz drummer) and Lee Ray, an unpredictable and moody son-of-a-gun who you could describe as having a poor attitude to both life and to others, they're fine.
Director Kelly Reichart's movie is at times both dreamy and at others more immediate. Though, if you're after blood-splattering action, you might be disappointed as this is more a character piece. Interesting camera angles add to the quite indie, fly-on-the-wall photography and we are introduced to some of the less glamorous and non-touristy parts of Florida. The title refers to the Native American name given to the stretch of swamplands near the Everglades.
A smattering of old jazz records provide the only soundtrack.
River of Grass says nothing new and covers no new ground but as a contemporary alternative to the Bonnie & Clyde and Natural Born Killers genre, that I and many others find both enthralling and intriguing, then this is a worthwhile, if minor, addition. I saw it on Film 4.
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