what i'm watching: don't miss edward norton in "leaves of grass"

I'm still in hell week here, two papers due next week, and no break in sight until two days after that.

Most nights, movies are giving me essential R&R, and last night we saw something I have to pass on to you: "Leaves of Grass," written and directed by Tim Blake Nelson, and starring the great Edward Norton in a tour de force, playing two roles of identical twin brothers.

The movie weaves thoughts on philosophy, spirituality, family bonds, the search for self, and nothing less than the meaning of life into a funny - and deadly serious - story full of surprises. Like so many movies I love, "Leaves of Grass" is about redemption, and how it comes in ways we cannot plan.

Edward Norton, as always, is brilliant. He is truly one of the greatest actors of his generation. (If you have not seen him in Spike Lee's 2002 "25th Hour," run-don't-walk to rent it.) We haven't seen the other films Nelson has directed, but now I'm going to look them up: "Eye of God," "O" and "The Grey Zone". Nelson is also in "Leaves of Grass," and Susan Sarandon, looking resplendently natural as a woman of years and experience, plays the mother of the twins.

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I also really enjoyed "The Other Guys": Will Ferrell at his ridiculous best, a send-up of cop-action movies, very funny, a terrific New York City backdrop, and a decidedly anti-capitalist twist. Plus you get to see Derek Jeter get what you may think he deserves.

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