RIVER OF GRASS
(director/writer: Kelly Reichardt; screenwriters: story by Reichardt & Jesse Hartman;cinematographer: Jim Denault; editor: Larry Fessender; music: John Hill; cast: Lisa Bowman (Cozy), Dick Russell (Jimmy Ryder), Stan Kaplan (J.C.), Michael Buscemi (Doug), Larry Fessender (Lee Ray Harold), Frances Reichardt (Lee’s Mom), Bert Yaeger (Dead Husband), Greg Shroeder (Bobby); Runtime: 76; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Jesse Hartman; Oscilloscope Laboratories; 1994)
“The downbeat noir story is filled with deadpan humor, a type of humor that Bowman and Fessender excel in.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
The first feature of one of indie’s best directors, Kelly Reichardt (“Meek’s Cutoff”/”Wendy and Lucy”), is set in the Florida Everglades, in south Florida. It’s an absurdist comedy that tells of a bored 30-year-old mother of two children named Cozy (Lisa Bowman), who is locked into a loveless marriage with her absentee workaholic husband Bobby (Greg Shroeder). One night at a bar she meets the 29-year-old aimless idler Lee (Larry Fessender), who still lives at home with his mommy (Frances Reichardt). He unknowingly has the lost police gun of her depressed estranged father (Dick Russell), a former jazz drummer now a crime scene detective for over twenty years. The gun was found on the road by Lee’s goofy friend, who asks him to sell it for him. After leaving the bar together and swimming in a stranger’s swimming pool, Cozy accidentally fires the gun and they think the home owner was shot. After spending a night in a motel, they go on the lam by car. But the penniless couple turn back when stopped on the state highway for not paying the toll.
The downbeat noir story is filled with deadpan humor, a type of humor that Bowman and Fessender excel in.
REVIEWED ON 12/26/2016 GRADE: B+