The United States of Leland

The United States of Leland

Movie: The United States of Leland
Director: Matthew Ryan Hoge
Produced by: MDP Worldwide Entertainment, Media 8 Entertainment, Neverland Pictures, Thousand Words, Trigger Street Productions
Released By: Paramount Classics
MPAA Rating: R

Produced by Kevin Spacey, The United States of Leland is a psychological drama concerning the aftereffects of a brutal murder. It’s also the first big-studio theatrical release for writer/director Matthew Ryan Hoge, whose previous work consists of the independent comedy Self Storage. Ryan Gosling plays Leland, an imprisoned teenager doing time for the stabbing murder of a disabled boy. Prison writing teacher Pearl Madison gets caught up in the story with the intention of making a book out of it, especially when he finds out that Leland’s father is the famous novelist Albert Fitzgerald. Pearl’s investigation uncovers some of the details and effects of the murder for everyone involved, including the victim’s parents, Harry and Karen Pollard. Jena Malone plays Becky, the teenage junkie who is both Leland’s ex-girlfriend and the victim’s sister. The situation also complicates the relationship between Becky’s older sister, Jennifer, and her sensitive boyfriend, Allen. The United States of Leland premiered at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival.

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