The United States of Leland

The United States of Leland

DVD - 2004
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After 15-year-old Leland commits a chilling crime, he is sent to juvenile hall where he meets Pearl, a teacher and aspiring writer who dreams of making Leland's story into a book. As Pearl digs deeper into Leland's life and the people caught up in it - his mother, his famous writer-father, and his troubled girlfriend - he uncovers Leland's disturbing motive. The tables soon turn when the enigmatic teen forces Pearl to examine his own morally questionable behavior. Climaxing with a shocking collision of violence, understanding, and hope, Leland will take you to states you never imagined.
Publisher: Hollywood, Calif. : Paramount, [2004]
ISBN: 9781415700174
Branch Call Number: DVD F Uni


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Sep 01, 2009

Don’t come to this movie expecting a plot driven story. Don’t expect a beginning middle and end with standard character arcs, conflicts or resolutions Don’t expect any answers All you find here are more questions. Maybe there is a “why” buried somewhere in this movie. But if there is one to be found it will have to be your own.

The United States of Leland are made up of loosely attached masses of land. Maybe in these disjointed states life liberty and the pursuit of happiness has proved unfulfilling –maybe that’s why people who inhabit Leland’s United states intentionally choose wrong; the chose people who are wrong for them; they choose self destruction and substance abuse; they choose affairs that they know are hurtful to others and unfulfilling to themselves; They intentionally choose to make mistakes and no one’s sure why. But they still do them. And they can’t be undone.

There are no clear answers given for anything, especially why Leland did what he did. This film seems to put the burden on us to make sense of our own lives. Maybe there is a “why” to our own lives… or maybe there isn’t.

Jan 02, 2008

Empty, pretentious film posing as a vehicle for insights and controversy it fails to deliver. Kevin Spacey's excellent performance as Leland's absentee father can't begin to save the film.


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