Essentially Deliverance cross-bred with A History of Violence...Leaves of Grass is a peculiar rural yarn and a sweet, assured examination of lost innocence and brotherhood that succeeds largely because of Norton's multi-faceted performance.
It's a jarringly realistic hybrid that echoes the more surreal aspects of real, rural life, and Norton walks/ambles through it all, sporting dueling personalities and distinct accents, but one very serious heart.
Meant to blow your mind when not pulling your leg, the film has some surreal surprises in store. Like homicidal potheads, a Jewish menorah wielded as a deadly weapon, and a suspicious swastika scrawled backwards at a bible belt synagogue crime scene.
Writer/director Tim Blake Nelson manages a finely tuned balance that is rare in cinema. Moving from the far reaches of comedy to the nether regions of drama, he never skips a beat or sets the pitch too high.