In Havana, Cuba in the late 1950s, a wealthy family, one of whose sons is a prominent night-club owner, is caught in the violent transition from the oppressive regime of Batista to the ... See full summary »
As the extremely withdrawn Don Johnston is dumped by his latest woman, he receives an anonymous letter from a former lover informing him that he has a son who may be looking for him. A freelance sleuth neighbor moves Don to embark on a cross-country search for his old flames in search of answers.
Felix Bush (Robert Duvall) is a hermit who has no regard for anybody in the town or anyone who wants to get to know him. But one day, after a fellow old hermit has died and he hears people in the town telling stories about him, he decides that he needs to get these stories out in the public. He recruits Frank (Bill Murray), the local funeral home director, to host his own funeral. This way he can hear what everyone is saying about him, and get the truth to his past out in the open. But will he be able to get anybody to come? And will he be able to reveal his secrets? Written by
"Get Low" is, in part, considered a psychological drama, it's also one of those films that can be classified as almost anything because the actors are able to add so many layers of interest with intrigue and comedy.
Starring an almost unrecognizably old Robert Duvall and a Jarmusch-styled Bill Murray, respectively, as a hermit wanting to host his own funeral and a funeral home director wanting his business. On the surface, it's a very slow drama because that is essentially all that happens, Murray helps Duvall plan his own funeral. But we are saved from a tedious drama by the actors' comedic timings. There's a lot of dry humour that I found myself laughing out-loud many times. The significance of the film is the psychology in its heart. Throughout, Duvall drops hints as to what his character is all about. You find yourself thinking about who he really is, and what he really means with every line he says. Robert Duvall just may be the best subtle actor.
"Get Low" is very stylized. Set in the 1920s, the director and cinematographer paid attention to the lighting, casting shadows where they wanted them, providing a dark atmosphere when needed to echo the times of the depression-era. I'll also call the humour stylized, it's dry, and it can take you a minute to make sure you got it right.
The one down-side is that the film-makers may have made it a bit too artsy and not accessible enough, because otherwise this could be up for every major award. At least we can rest assured that the Academy knows where to find Mr. Duvall.
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