River of Grass

March 11th, 2016


River of Grass

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Release Year: 1994

Rating: 6.2/10 ( voted)

Critic's Score: /100

Director: Kelly Reichardt

Stars: Lisa Bowman, Larry Fessenden, Dick Russell

Near the Everglades, the "river of grass," lives Cozy (named for her father's favorite drummer), lonely, in a loveless marriage, ignoring her kids. She fantasizes being a dancer, an acrobat, and a gymnast. One night at a bar she meets Lee. He's jobless, homeless, and unbeknownst to Cozy, is in possession of her father's handgun. Dad's a cop and lost the gun chasing a robber. Cozy and Lee climb a fence to swim in a pool. Playing around with the gun, they think they kill the pool's owner, so they go on the lam. An odd partnership develops even though they're short on ideas. But how can they escape their barren lot if they don't even have a quarter for the road toll?

Writers: Jesse Hartman, Kelly Reichardt, Lisa Bowman, Larry Fessenden, Dick Russell, Larry Fessenden, Dick Russell, Michael Buscemi, Lisa Bowman, Santo Fazio, Sheila Korsi, Mitch Lewis, Steven Lezak, Greg Schroeder, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Larry Fessenden - Lee Ray Harold
Dick Russell - Jimmy Ryder
Michael Buscemi - Doug
Lisa Bowman - Cozy
Santo Fazio - Det. ortiz
Sheila Korsi - Depressed Woman in Bar
Mitch Lewis - Guitar player in bar
Steven Lezak - Motel Loiterer
Greg Schroeder - Bobby

Country: USA

Language: English

Release Date: 3 Jan 1994

Filming Locations: Florida, USA

Technical Specs


User Review


Rating: 9/10

RIVER OF GRASS is a quintessential example of Slacker film making. The script is sharp and well written with a most effective use of 'voice over'. The narrative is portrayed by a rag-bag cast of characters who could have have fit right in on any 1980's Jim Jarmusch film. Kelly Reichardt, the writer/director, has a sure feel for existential dialog and plot. The story involves a handgun which is lost by a detective, and inadvertently winds up in the possession of his aimless '30 something' daughter, Cozy. She and a barroom pickup participate in an absurd and incongruous shooting, and, in a panic, decide to hit the highway. Devoid of direction or purpose, the protagonists stumble and fumble in a car chase movie where they can't seem to get out of PARK. When they finally make it to the interstate, they are turned around by a trooper because they lack a quarter to pay the toll. Instead of a sensational interaction with the cops, they are more or less ignored. The film was shot on seemingly Third World locations near the Florida Everglades, and even the colors seem washed out and weary which adds to the cheerless experience of the movie. RIVER OF GRASS is an incisive bit of Independent film-making which might be described as 'THELMA AND LOUISE for abject losers'. This is truly a gem in the rough.


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