ROBERT DUVALL BILL MURRAY SISSY SPACEK LUCAS BLACK
When the trailer debuted for this film I think everyone knew there was something original and very special. Robert Duvall hasn’t headlined a film since his Oscar nominated performance in The Apostle, although he has been very active in supporting projects. He only has one Oscar statue to his name and that was back in 1983 for Tender Mercies. Duvall’s performance here rivals most of what he has done up to this point, certainly a role that is likely to capture younger audiences interested in independent cinema. Then of course the great Bill Murray returns to the screen, both veteran actors give those slightly devious performances that Oscar voters just can’t pass up. Get Low turns out to be a great film, providing some of the most welcome simple originality so far this year.
Known as hermit living back in the Tennessee Mountains, Felix Bush (Duvall) a hateful, beardy old man comes down from his cabin to meet with Frank Quinn (Murry) of Quinn Funeral Homes and his assistant Buddy (Black). Bush wants to plan a funeral while he is still alive so he might tell the story that has haunted him for over 40 years. Quinn is interested in the wad of greasy money attached to Bush, but Buddy goes out of his way to assure Bush gets exactly the funeral he wants. Curiosity has the town in an uproar, while Bush begins to deal with the demons that have kept him hidden away for so long.
The film begins like a dark Coen Brothers film, set in the backwoods and poised to unravel in the most haunting of ways; but as we get to know more about the mysterious Bush the middle of the film takes a dark comedy, or sarcastic tone. Duvall’s performance manages to sustain the mystery, keep Bush entertaining while encouraging the audience to learn more. New director Aaron Schneider weaves a fascinating backwoods tale that depends entirely on Duvall’s performance and allure as Bush. We have seen Lucas Black grow up on film, from Sling Blade to his failed attempt into the mainstream with Fast and Furious 3, he regains some staying power with his tender performance here.
From the raggedy costumes of the 1930’s Appalachian Mountains era, to the perfectly written song by Allison Krauss, Get Low is a rare film that looks into the notions and backwards ways of the past to emerge as something fantastically original for 2010. From the elements of mystery to the wise cracks from Frank Quinn, Get Low will sit beside country classics like Cold Mountain, Cold Miners Daughter and Fried Green Tomatoes. This is a film worth watching over and over to see the subtle yet important nuances that might get lost on the first viewing.
Final Thought – They don’t make them like this anymore.
By: Dustin Chase W.
Editor: Jennifer Gih