Get Low (2009)
Directed by Aaron Schneider
Starring: Robert Duvall, Bill Murray, Sissy Spacek, Lucas Black
Until recently I’d never heard of Get Low. Thanks to Leona, a friend from high school, I took the time to watch this incredible movie. The film is directed by Aaron Schneider, winner of the Academy Award for Best Short Film with Two Soldiers in 2003. This film marked his first attempt at a full-length film. He was lucky enough to get some big names in this movie. The stars include Robert Duvall, Bill Murray, Sissy Spacek, and Lucas Black.
Robert Duvall has been a fixture in Hollywood since his 1962 role is Boo Radley in the hit film To Kill A Mockingbird. Since then he’s had roles in some huge films. The titles include The Godfather, Apocalypse Now, and The Apostle. The list of films he’s been in is far too long to name them all. Despite being nominated six times, he won his only Oscar for his role in Tender Mercies in 1983.
Bill Murray is another big name in the film business. He’s a personal favorite of mine for his work in films like Ghostbusters and What About Bob?. He was nominated for an Oscar for his performance in Lost in Translation. In addition to these titles he’s been in movies like Caddyshack, Groundhog Day, and Rushmore.
Sissy Spacek has had a career in film that stretches back to an Oscar nomination for her lead role in Carrie in 1976. She has received a total of six nominations which included a win for Coal Miner’s Daughter. She’s also had parts in movies like The River and Crimes of the Heart.
Lucas Black made his film debut at 11 in the Kevin Costner movie The War. Since then he’s had parts in hit movies like Sling Blade and Jarhead. He also had a running part on the television series American Gothic.
The story of Felix Bush is part fable and part truth all mixed together. A local hermit, Felix Bush (Duvall) has decided that his funeral would be more fun if he was alive to enjoy it. Soon he’s enlisted the help of funeral directors Frank (Murray) and Buddy (Black) to put together a funeral party. As Felix gets his affairs in order he’s forced to face people who know him better than most. The uncomfortable truths about his past soon become part of his plans for the future. He has some explaining to do before he gets low.
This movie is a story of death, redemption, love, pain, greed, and gossip. From the beginning, the movie takes twists and turns that really make it fun to watch. The movie is based in Tennessee in 1930 and the film makers did a great job sticking to the period. This includes the sets, costumes, and the cars. In addition to the visuals, the film also sports a really interesting a fitting score.
The acting is also amazing in the movie. Duvall is amazing as the cranky hermit Felix Bush. He manages to make the character complex, both comedic and tragic all at once. It’s fun to see someone with a fantastic pedigree do something that didn’t seem destined for massive financial success. Duvall’s performance worked perfectly when paired with the greedy character played by Murray. Murray brings his own brand of comedy to every role and this is no exception. Lucas Black managed to fit right in the middle of the two, playing the middle man for these two eccentric characters. His role really centered the story nicely.
This movie was a wonderful surprise for me. I don’t know that I can make a comparison to other movies, but it’s worth seeing. The movie works on a comedy level but it also has a very intellectual point to make throughout the film. If you’re a fan of independent film or movies that might be off the beaten path then I would suggest this one for you. I give this one a 4 out of 5 stars.