River of Grass

River of Grass

Movie: River of Grass
Director: Kelly Reichardt
Produced by: Plan B Films
Released By: Oscilloscope Pictures
MPAA Rating: NR

River of Grass has all the elements of a conventional road movie: a car, a gun, criminal plans, and young lovers on the run from an angry father who also happens to be a suspended police officer. But writer and director Kelly Reichardt has instead taken these familiar elements and fashioned an anti-road movie, a deadpan film that is more existentialist comedy than crime drama. The young lovers in question are Cozy, the cop’s daughter, and Lee Ray, a shady character from the wrong end of town. Lee Ray comes into possession of a pistol, and soon he and Cozy find themselves unintentionally involved in a shooting. Fearing capture by the law, the two make plans to leave town, committing a series of robberies on the way. However, they don’t manage to get very far, indeed, the film’s central premise is how the romantic myth of lovers on the lam proves disappointing in the face of a far more pedestrian reality. This well-received, low-budget indie was shot on location in South Florida, placing its story against an appropriately depressed landscape of sun-bleached strip malls, barren highways and overgrown, swampy fields, the title is another name for the Florida Everglades.

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