Get Low (2009) Poster


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Hermit money
ferguson-622 August 2010
Greetings again from the darkness. I am not familiar with director Aaron Schneider, who apparently has done mostly cinematography work on TV for the past 10 years. He must feel like a lottery winner getting to direct his first feature film and having a cast with Robert Duvall and Sissy Spacek.

This is a very odd film centered on the story of 1930's Tennessee backwoods recluse Felix Bush, played exceedingly (no surprise) well by Robert Duvall. We learn - slowly - that Felix has been in a self-imposed exile carrying enormous guilt over an incident from 40 years prior. The wonderful thing is that it takes us just about the entire film to discover what caused this guilt and how Felix has dealt with it.

Over that 40 years, the legend of old man Bush has grown with the town people. It is approaching Tall Tale status when he whips up on a local wise-ass on one of his rare visits to town. When Felix realizes that stories have been concocted about him over the years, he heads to local funeral home to arrange a "funeral party" where everyone can come and tell their stories. The local mortician is played by Bill Murray and I can best describe his personality as eager opportunist.

While this appears to be a slow moving story, it really isn't. The real motivation for the party, a reconnection with the past and a cleansing confession all play a part in this fine story. Sissy Spacek plays a painful link to Felix' past, as well as a key to this latest/last event.

Three excellent performances by Duvall, Spacek and Bill Cobbs really make this one work. Bill Murray and Lucas Black hold up their end by supplying a bit of humor and purity, respectively, though the story really belongs to Duvall. His ability to convey emotion with a grunt or facial expression is just amazing to watch.

My only real complaint with the film is that it lasted about 2 minutes too long. The perfect ending had occurred and then we are dealt one final, seemingly forced scene. A minor quibble with a film that kept me fully engaged.
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Duvall at the Height of his power in GET LOW
seaview118 September 2010
Robert Duvall is one of the best American actors of the past half century. Witness his roles in To Kill a Mockingbird, The Godfather I and II, The Great Santini, Apocalypse Now, Open Range, and a full TV resume including Lonesome Dove. In Get Low, he gives a measured, understated performance as a mysterious, old hermit who makes an unusual, life changing decision. This independent film is deceptively simple and honest. Yet it is done extremely well and leaves a deep feeling about life's regrets.

After the brief image of a house burning down, we flash forward to a rural setting in the 1930's to see an old home inhabited by a reclusive, elderly man, Felix Bush (Duvall), whose disheveled appearance and reputation are the stuff of rumor and legend. Are the stories about him true? Is he a killer? Haunted by visions of a woman, he decides to arrange his own funeral before his actual demise. The funeral home is run by Frank Quinn (Bill Murray) and his loyal assistant, Buddy Robinson (Lucas Black). Felix wants to invite everyone who has a story about him to tell. He sweetens the pot by offering to raffle off his vast acreage of property. He also runs into an old acquaintance, Mattie (Sissy Spacek), who has strong ties to him from way back. He later pays a visit to a preacher in another town in hopes of having him conduct the eulogy. As the plot thickens, we find that Felix is hiding a painful secret that will have the town reexamining its prejudices and assumptions about a tortured soul who is struggling for his own redemption before it's too late.

Novice director Aaron Schneider, whose previous credits were as a cinematographer of various TV shows and movies, does a solid job with a modest budget and a lean story and script by Chris Provenzano and C. Gaby Mitchell.

It's nice to see veteran actors like Duvall, Spacek, and Murray play older characters, wrinkles and all with enthusiasm and conviction. Duvall does a splendid job of presenting a cipher of a man whose words are sparse and direct and slowly, as the story develops, begins to open up to reveal a complex person replete with feelings of guilt. There are reasons perhaps for why he is the way he is. Duvall is destined for an Oscar nomination, and Spacek arguably deserves a nod for strong support. Bill Murray as the funeral director does a convincing job as a businessman who isn't quite a villain or hero. He is carving a nice career niche as a dramatic character actor (aside from being a comedic superstar).

The film successfully evokes the period of depression era, small town USA. There are few items to quibble about; however, a violent break in at the funeral home doesn't really forward the plot and is never fully explained.

There are similarities in Felix and the noble character in The Ballad of Cable Hogue. In both films, the protagonist is an aged, stubborn loner, and in the end, as his life is in its twilight, the truth sets him free. Perhaps the lesson here is that each person has a story, and some of the stories are not always evident. With Get Low, we get to see the bittersweet tale of a broken heart. Your heart will be moved too.
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A stylized drama - part comedy, part psychology
napierslogs20 August 2010
"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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Great Actors Perform tell a Seious Humorous Story
JustCuriosity18 March 2010
Get Low and its cast were very well-received last night at Austin's Paramount Theatre as part of the SXSW Film Festival. This is the type of well-written, well-acted serious film that gets made all too rarely today. The excellent cast was led by three aging legends – the cantankerous Robert Duvall, the hilarious Bill Murray and elegant Sissy Spacek – all of whom attended the SXSW performance and answered questions. They have lost nothing with age. One-time child star Lucas Black has begun to come into his own as an actor as well. Get Low is an example of the type of wonderful film making that can be done with excellent actors working on a minimal budget. The period setting in depression era Tennessee was entirely believable. The film is both very funny and deeply moving.

Very loosely-based on real events, the film tells the story of a backwoods hermit – played by Duvall with grace and spirit – who decides to hold his own funeral while he is still alive. The story is about loneliness, guilt, redemption, forgiveness, love, and human mortality. There have been few recent films that explore such difficult territory and do so with such humanity, decency and humor. I hope that this film gets a theatrical release so that more people can enjoy this rare treat.
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An Underpublicized, Haunting Film
ccthemovieman-17 March 2011
It's hard to classify this movie, so I'll just say it's a lot different from most fare you see at the theater these days.

What it offers up, I thought, was superb acting and cinematography. It's no surprise the acting is good when you have the likes of Robert Duvall, Bill Murray, Sissy Spacey and Lucas Black. All of them are excellent.

This is so beautifully filmed you swear you are right in the middle of rural America in the 1930s. Shot-after-shot is a marvel. The story is slow but it should keep your interest as you wonder what "Felix Bush" (Duvall) is going to do at the end. You're never quite what he's going to say and do, at any time, actually, which keeps the story intriguing. I guess you could say that for anyone was had been a hermit for 40 years, living alone in the woods.

I suspect this film didn't get the publicity and acclaim it should have gotten, despite it's well-known cast. It's a "sleeper," and highly-recommended.
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A film of depth, with outstanding acting
SimonJack8 September 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I'm not an expert movie critic or examiner by any means. But it seems to me from the comments to this date, that many reviewers may have missed something very important to this film. True, it has many aspects that lend to its quality. Most have noted the humor, intrigue, curiosity, and some emotional and psychological ties. But the overriding foundation of the story was in the fear and dislike among the community for the main character, Felix Bush, and in his role relating to those people. What a great irony there, where so many people over the past 40 years have grown up with various wild stories about some heinous things Bush did in his past. It's ironic, because we don't really hear what most of those are. And, then we find out at the end that he did, in fact, have a horrible incident in his past life.

After Bush learns that an old acquaintance has died, he visits the grave only to find a few flowers and a couple of cards left there. So, he decides to plan a funeral party for himself, and to invite everyone who has a story to tell about him to come. This means that he must come out of his reclusive home in the backwoods. As he does so, we have some nice vignettes of humor with him and the funeral home owner and his employee. The community begins to warm up to him some, and he to the community, it seems. But by the day of the festive advance-funeral party, it is clear that Bush did, in fact, have a dark and tragic past.

By this time, the viewers, and most of the characters themselves in the movie, begin to understand why this old hermit has lived alone for the past 40 years. He was escaping a dark past — or was he really trying to escape it? The unfolding of this simple question gives sense to the whole movie, and to this eccentric hermit's life. And, now, for the first time, we can all see the real humaneness, the true personality, and redeeming character of a man who has lived with memories of a lifelong nightmare. And, we now see his real reason for wanting the funeral party for all to come to.

The masterful script and directing didn't really give us any clues to help unravel the mystery. The wonderful backwoods setting and scenes painted a picture of a lonely man living withdrawn from the world. And the unfolding of the story slowly brings to life all the main characters as they relate to this most unusual time in their lives. The acting is superb by everyone. I agree with those who said Robert Duvall should be in the running for an Oscar. But I think at least two other actors should equally be in the running for supporting roles — Bill Murray and Lucas Black. Sissy Spacek, Bill Cobbs, and a handful of others also gave top notch performances.

This is unquestionably the finest story with great character and outstanding acting of any movie I have watched that was produced in the past year. And, it's nearly squeaky clean. I highly recommend it.
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Go see it!
Oroloro11 August 2010
This is what movies are about:

It's a compelling story, flawless acting with spot-on casting choices, deftly directed, and with camera work supports the story with warm tones. I don't know of one person who has seen this and doesn't rave. The Oscar race begins here. It's wonderful to be rapt in a film that doesn't need explosions, chases or CGI to make the film work.

Every person involved in the making of this film is an artisan. If your a budding filmmaker, class is in session - a must see.

Duval and Spacek are in their prime - there's also a lesson here that youth and beauty are only skin deep... and talent grows with age.
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A sublime Movie
buzzbruin8 August 2010
This as close to a perfect movie as you will see this year. A simple story about an old codger who wants something in the nature of an odd request. His odd deeds have made him a legend in the area in which he lives (think the deep south). He has been alone for 4o years living in a run-down cabin and chasing kids and people off his property with a gun. He is the quintessence of a deeply unhappy mournful cranky old man, and he is played by one the great actors of his generation Robert Duvall, joined by an outstanding cast--Bill Murray. Sisy Spacek and others. It deals with life (and death) memories of youth, and deep love between a man and a woman which has lasted a long time. I will not give you the plot, just ask you see this movie as soon as possible. Despite its shoestring budget, it is a GREAT film, written produced and acted by some of the greatest talents of our time. Mr Duvall is worth seeing in this tale, but the supporting cast makes it a superb experience. If you want see a great film crafted by genius, then I urge you not miss it!!
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Funeral for a Man Alive
claudio_carvalho27 February 2011
In the 30's, in Caleb County, the loathed hermit Felix Bush (Robert Duvall) offers a large amount of money to the local Rev. Gus Horton (Gerald McRaney) to organize his funeral, but the preacher refuses the request. The family man Buddy Robinson (Lucas Black) overhears the conversation and talks to his boss Frank Quinn (Bill Murray); they visit Felix and offer the service of the Quinn Funeral Home. Felix requests a funeral party and invites anyone that has a story to tell about him. Further, he offers his three hundred acre land for US$ 5.00 a ticket to be disputed in a raffle. When Felix asks Buddy to drive him to Illinois to see Rev. Charlie Jackson (Bill Cobbs), Buddy learns that Felix has a painful secret and need the help of his friend to disclose it to the population.

"Get Low" has an interesting premise of a funeral for a man that is still alive in a good screenplay. The cast is excellent, with Robert Duvall, Lucas Black, Bill Murray, Bill Cobbs and Sissy Spacek. The reconstitution of the 30's is very careful in an excellent work of costumes and art direction. Unfortunately, the story is weak, and the revelation of Felix's secret that should be the climax of the film does not impact and neither justify the attitude of Felix Bush toward the locals nor his self-punishment. My vote is six.

Title (Brazil): "Segredos de um Funeral" ("Secrets of a Funeral")
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A Surprising Life Examined: The Angry Old Man
rroberto187 October 2010
While Hollywood has consistently examined the "angry young man," his older counterpart is normally portrayed by a character actor in a minor role. Robert Duvall is no stranger to portraying off-beat, aging male leads, but here he accepts the ultimate challenge -- drawing an audience in to examine the life of a self-made hermit with a widely reviled yet barely explained past.

Bill Murray and Sissy Spacek, a dream team supporting cast, also portray vintage folk with secrets of their own. This partly frontier western, largely psychological mystery unravels slowly in scenes with little or no dialog. What dialog there is offers several levels of potential meaning through pregnant pauses, ill-defined sentence fragments and questions with no immediate answers.

The viewer either chooses to fill in the blanks by closely observing peripheral elements in each scene, or simply awaits a climax that ultimately explains everything. That scene never quite tells all, but intentionally and inventively so. It's the former viewer for whom this film has been so meticulously well-crafted to side-step the clearly declarative and ultimately obvious.

The score is a particularly captivating mix of period Americana and original music that resonates with the time and place -- even when performed by a Polish orchestra or under-appreciated U.S. folk/country performers of our own era.

In short, GET LOW is a niche film that quietly rewards a cinema-loving audience for investing its full attention. Leave your smart phone at home for the best multi-tasking experiences are built into the work itself. The 2009 copyright date indicates Sony Classics, after due deliberation, acquired a "hard sell" that other studios overlooked.

An early October Oscar season screening of this December U.S. release ended with much applause, atypical for guild audiences. Almost half even stayed through the credits, an indication that many involved in the film on all levels are worthy of name-recognition "for your consideration.
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Old Codger's big 'reveal' at end, disappoints
Turfseer5 February 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Get Low has an original premise based on a true story. Back in 1938 in Tennessee, a hermit, an old codger of sorts, decides to hold a funeral for himself while he's still alive. The hermit's motive for throwing the funeral is to finally hear all the bad things the townspeople have been saying about him, behind his back for years.

In the movie, the hermit is Felix Bush played by Robert Duvall. He's got a long beard and has numerous 'no trespassing' signs posted at the entrance to his property. When he strolls into town, he's always armed with a shotgun. A young bully tries to taunt Felix but he turns the tables on him by knocking him out. And oh yes—Felix has a dark secret that has been the source of internal torment since he was a young man.

Felix ends up conscripting funeral director, Frank Quinn, played by a rather tame Bill Murray, to organize the funeral party. He's got a young assistant, Buddy, who ends up looking after Felix. The plot complications involve Felix changing his mind about the funeral plans. At one point he calls the funeral off; later he nixes the idea of allowing the townspeople to bad mouth him at the funeral. Finally he decides to raffle off his property upon his death—the townspeople will pay a small fee and one lucky winner will be chosen at the festivities.

The problem with Get Low is that the main character never grows. Throughout the film, Duvall plays a man who's perennially mad at himself. There's a lot of time spent building up to Felix's big confession at the funeral. First, all we get are many hints. In Felix's heated confrontation with Mattie (Sissy Spacek), we learn she blames him for something he did involving her sister (there's a weak attempt at comedy when Felix has a heart attack and Mattie suddenly has to pull back walking out on him, instead, ending up having to attend to him as he's passed out on the floor). There's also the Reverend Charlie Jackson, a black preacher, who knows all about Felix's dark past, but won't tell (I wondered how there was not one racist comment directed toward the good Reverend, since this was supposed to be the Jim Crow South, during the 30s).

The entire Get Low storyline is predicated on Felix's confession at the funeral. Unfortunately, the confession proves much more sentimental than surprising. It seems that Felix got himself involved with Mattie's sister. One night he goes over to see her and discovers that the husband had attacked her with a hammer, knocking her out. The husband knocks over a lamp starting a fire, and Felix is unable to save the woman he loves. Just as we saw in the beginning of the film, Felix must jump out of the burning house and he's the only one to survive.

Felix's confession is cathartic and the tears flow. He's finally gotten it off his chest. Nonetheless, Felix's guilt trip feels misplaced. After all, it wasn't Felix who was actually responsible for his lover's death. Nonetheless, he beats himself up for years over the event. For a good part of the movie, Felix's histrionics are played out ad infinitum—yes we get the fact that he feels bad about what happened. But when the beans are finally spilled at the end, we feel cheated since something much more dramatic is expected.

Even Bill Murray disappoints here. Where was the irascible, con man when we needed him? Instead, Murray's Quinn opts out as a good guy who doesn't want to fleece anyone and ends up lending a helping hand to anyone he can.

If there's anything positive here, it's mostly in the set design and music. Like 'Bonnie and Clyde', 'Get Low' evokes the bygone era of the Great Depression and scores points mainly for atmosphere.

Strip away all the histrionics and one finds that Get Low is simply about a depressed guy who finally feels better after getting something off his chest that he's bottled up for years. Where's the drama in that? Mr. Duvall did not get the Oscar nomination he was looking for and rightly so. Given the long, awkward setup, a sentimental ending is the only place 'Get Low' can go!
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Prisons Without Bars
druid333-222 August 2010
You have to admire Robert Duvall. For fifty,plus years now,he has starred in countless films portraying characters that are somewhat left of centre. In Get Low,he plays Felix Bush,a hermit who has,for the most part,retreated from society,due to some mighty dark daemons he has been carrying around for far too long. Felix is old & feels his time for shuffling off his mortal coil is not far away. Felix is either feared or hated by most of the people that live in the town (as far from his land,as possible). Felix gets the idea of having a funeral party before he bids farewell. He gets assistance in the form of two workers at the local funeral parlor,Frank Quinn & his partner Buddy. The three of them plan the mother of all funerals to take place on Felix's land (a mighty feat,considering most of the townies want little or less to do with him). In the midst of all this,a woman from Felix's past turns up (Mattie Darrow)to make things even more interesting. All of this makes for a multi layered story that,despite the dark subject matter,will have your head in the clouds (trust me). Besides the superb work of Robert Duvall,as Felix,there is ever so fine work from the likes of Sissy Spacek (where has she been lately?),as Mattie Darrow,Bill Murray,as Frank Quinn (ever deadpan as always),and Lucas Black as Frank's business partner,Buddy. With Bill Cobbs,Lori Beth Edgeman,Gerald McRaney...and featuring Gracie,as Felix Bush's mule,Gracie (who would have thunk it?). Aaron Schneider,working his way up from cinematographer & film editor for television projects,directs & edits from a screenplay written by Chris Provenzano & C.Gaby Mitchell,from a story by Scott Seeke & Provenzano. Cinematography by David Boyd. The film's musical score is composed by Jan Kaczmarek (incidental music),and legendary Bluegrass musician,Jerry Douglas (for some of the American roots oriented musical score),as well as some nice use of some actual 1930's period popular music of the era (Example:does 'If I didn't care'by the Ink Spots strum a familiar chord with you?). This is tasteful film making,with top notch acting from a superb cast. Rated PG-13 by the MPAA for a few outbursts of rude language & some adult themes
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One of the best films of the year
Evanmail-841-79952110 September 2010
A charming sleeper of a tale set in the 1930s. A reclusive hermit, the subject of mistrust and rumor by generations of local townsfolk, nearing the end of his life suddenly decides to throw himself a funeral party and invites the entire town. Superlative and nuanced performances are turned in by Robert Duvall, as the old man, Sissy Spacek, as a widowed former acquaintance, and Bill Murray, as the funeral director who agrees to organize the event. Fantastic supporting performances are also given by Lucas Black, as the Funeral director's more moral assistant, and Bill Cobbs, as the Reverend who comes to speak at the funeral. The director, Aaron Schneider, captures the period extremely well and the cinematography and musical score are wonderful. The movie handles tough subjects like death, regret, suspicion and guilt with wisdom and a gentle humor that allows the audience to take it all in like one big ice cream sundae. Bravo ! Go see it ! Tell your friends to go see it !!
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An amazingly well acted movie about redemption and forgiveness. Not sure how the Oscars missed this movie. Watch it. I say A+
cosmo_tiger20 February 2011
A hermit who has secluded himself from society for 40 years want a chance at redemption. After hearing the news of an old friend dying, Felix (Duvall) confronts his own mortality and decides to hold a funeral party for himself. After Frank (Murray) the funeral director agrees to help, they plan to invite everyone that has a story about Felix to come and share it. As the movie progresses we learn that the reason Felix wanted this party is to finally tell his story. One of the great injustices in the film industry is that if a movie is made for less then $100,000,000 it seems that the studios do not promote or release it as wide as a large budget movie. It also seems award shows lately are in it for the ratings and will give awards to movies and people that don't deserve it. Most viewers would rather see "Avatar" win over "Hurt Locker", even though the quality, story and acting in the "Hurt Locker" was far better, but because it didn't make $800,000,000 everyone assumes it's not as good. This movie is one of the gems that gets glossed over because it is a character driven movie with no explosions or sex. Robert Duvall and Bill Murray are at the top of their games in this and the movie is very well done, with heart and a moral that will leave you feeling fulfiller when the end credits start. Do yourself a favor and watch this one. They just don't make movies like this enough, and that is a real shame. I give it an A+.

Would I watch again? - Absolutely, but it's not one you can watch over and over and have it have the same impact.
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Get Yourself a Pillow Before You Put in This Snoozer
evanston_dad27 June 2011
This dull cross between a tall tale and a Southern Gothic horror story is ultimately too inconsequential to muster up much interest from this reviewer.

Robert Duvall is fine as a misunderstood hermit with a painful secret, and he gets a showy soliloquy toward the film's conclusion, but the secret he reveals has been built up so much by the screenplay that it fizzles when it's actually learned in its entirety. Sissy Spacek is wasted as a love from Duvall's past, and Lucas Black looks handsome but has the unfortunate job of standing around looking dumbstruck for most of the film's running time. Only Bill Murray, who seems out of place for the period but who manages to inject some humor into the film, gave me much reason to pay attention.

The film doesn't really work on any level -- it's not emotionally weighty enough to work as effective drama, it's too morose to make its more comedic elements come alive, and it's too tame to take full advantage of its Southern Gothic elements. It's not unwatchable, but it is a bit of a dud.

Grade: B-
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Good, but could have been even better
grantss18 September 2019
Good, but disappointing because it could have been better. The build up to the "revelation" was great - intriguing, interesting and entertaining, though at times it felt a bit padded. Then, when we get to the climactic scene, it was all so rushed, and the revelation wasn't anywhere near as moving or intriguing as I thought it would be. The pacing of the movie was quite uneven.

This said, there are some great emotional moments, as well as some good comedic moments, and the movie has its heart in the right place. It just needed a more finely-tuned plot and better pacing.

No problems with the performances though. Robert Duvall doesn't deliver anything less than good performances, and this is no exception. Good support from Sissy Spacek, Bill Murray, Lucas Black and Bill Cobbs.
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Slow-moving, but well-done
cricketbat3 August 2018
Don't watch Get Low when you're tired. It's a very slow-moving film, even though it's well-done. Robert Duvall does a great job playing the part of a mysterious hermit, and the supporting cast is also strong - it's just that the story drags. The trailer made this movie seem much more lighthearted than it actually is.
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Great Performance To Bookend A Career
Matt_Layden3 June 2010
Felix Bush is a hermit, he lives all alone in the backwoods and he likes it that way. He has a sign that reads 'no trespassing', when someone trespasses, he puts up another sign 'no damn trespassing'. One day a priest arrives to inform him of a death, someone he knows. He then gets the idea to have a funeral party for himself, while he is still alive.

Saw an advanced screen of Get Low and if Robert Duvall were to stop acting now then he can be proud of his career. He surely will continue to act, because he's darn good at it, but with Get Low he manages to give a performance that is both emotional and real. The film is loosely based on real events and Duvall, along with the supporting cast are able to bring this dry period piece to a rather enjoyable close.

Get Low is something that many people will think is boring, and it is at parts. If it weren't for the performance from Duvall, then the film would be rated lower in my books. Bill Murray, Bill Cobbs and Lucas Black all share the screen time, but never do much to really hold a scene with Duvall. They are good, but Duvall simply outshines them all. One scene in particular comes to mind and it's the most interesting part of the film itself, near the end. Duvall gives a speech and it feels real, you feel the humanity in his performance and speech, as if someone's grandfather were telling them a story for the first time.

Lucas Black's role could have been played by anyone. Unfortunately for Black, he hasn't matured enough as an actor to make this role memorable or even important. I give him points for starring in a film like this, more attempts like this and he might be enjoyable. Bill Murray channels his Broken Flowers role here. He saunters along and throws in the occasional smart ass remark. Sissy Spacek plays an old friend of Felix, they have history together. Certain revelations are made in the film that put a heavy strain on their so called friendship.

The film at first is about this man who wants to throw a funeral party, but by the film's end, it seems as if it was never about that at all. The most important scene is indeed at his funeral party, but it's for reasons only revealed to the viewer at that particular moment. Felix has a secret, a reason he is all alone now. The film doesn't really try to get us to guess what it is or care about it until really late in the story.

Get Low looks great and is directed confidently. The film has a wooden golden glow to it. Very appropriate considering Felix is a carpenter of some sort. It plays well in the time line it's characters are in and never feels fake. There have been some talk about Oscars for this film. While I don't really think it has a chance in any department, the only one that wouldn't surprise me is Robert Duvall. His honest portrayal of a broken man that hates himself should be recognized. Get Low is something that not many film goers will appreciate, but those looking for good performances from veteran actors (Black being the exception) will find something to like in Get Low. I know I did.
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Get Low
cultfilmfan30 September 2010
Get Low takes place in the 1930's in Tennessee and focuses on a man named Felix Bush. Felix lives in a house way in the backwoods and not around anybody for several miles and he lives there alone with his farm animals. There are legends about Felix and every now and again, someone tries to approach his property, but they soon get chased off his land by Felix waving a shotgun. One day Felix gets a bizarre idea in his head. He decides that he wants to throw a funeral party for himself while he is still living and wants to invite anyone who has a story to tell about him, or perhaps one they have heard. A struggling funeral business owned by Frank Quinn and his partner Buddy, agree to help set things up for the funeral. We are also introduced during the film to several people Felix knew in the past. One is a widow by the name of Mattie and the other is a preacher. At first the funeral directors think that this is something that will not become of much, but due to lack of funds they agree and as time goes by and they get to know a little bit more of Felix, that is what he decides to share, they see that maybe he does have something to say and this upcoming party will make or break him and may be to him one of the most important days of his life. Get Low is masterfully made. It has great direction, script, cinematography and acting. The legendary Robert Duvall in one of his best roles plays Felix, and at first we think of the character as nothing but a cantankerous old man, but as the film gives us time and by Duvall's subtle yet revealing portrayal of him, we get to know quite a bit about him and that like any legend, or someone that people may not know about, that they may be misunderstood and have a chance to say what is on their mind. From yelling at kids on his property to slowly realizing his own frailty and perhaps the things he wishes he could have changed in his own life, Duvall, gives such great feeling and emotion to the character that is at times humorous and at others believable, honest and tragic. It certainly is a great performance and one of the best of this year, so you can be sure he will be nominated next year for a Best Actor Oscar. The other characters we get to know through time as well and they prove to be just as interesting and in their own ways misunderstood as well. The script which focuses on how people perceive others and the things we struggle with on the inside, whether it be regret, greed, or even loneliness is all on display here and handled in a subtle and realistic way. The film does have a leisurely pace to it, which often suits and feels like the laidback 1930's setting of the film, so I had no problem with it and I personally felt it built better studies of the characters and their backgrounds by doing so. If this had been a fast paced big budget Hollywood film it would have not been pulled off in as masterful, or brilliant way as the final result of this film. Get Low gives us some ideas to think about as we leave the theatre and I think it presents answers, or perhaps questions we have about ourselves in our own lives. This is a moving and thought provoking film that is also at times light, humorous and full of great locations and a brilliant script and direction with some exceptional performances as well. Get Low is one of the best films of 2010.
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"Get Low" is as high-quality as cinema can be
lee_eisenberg21 August 2010
Aaron Schneider's "Get Low", loosely based on true events, tells the story of elderly backwoods hermit Felix Bush (Robert Duvall) who wants to hold a living funeral for himself in the 1930s. This movie is very much about the dialog, and Duvall, Bill Murray (the undertaker) and Sissy Spacek (an old acquaintance) all have plenty of lines that help move the story along, enabling sufficient character development. In the end, the main theme appears to be the righting of past wrongs, although there are other important topics addressed throughout the film.

Duvall certainly gives a fine - and mildly eccentric - performance as the reclusive Bush, but Murray's and Spacek's performances add to what have been some of the best roles of their careers during the past decade (in addition to "Lost in Translation" and "In the Bedroom"). Like Meryl Streep, they both seem to have reached their full potential in old age. "Get Low" is definitely a movie that I recommend. Also starring Lucas Black, Gerald McRaney and Bill Cobbs.

With the serious roles that Bill Murray has played recently, who would ever guess that he was once a "Saturday Night Live" cast member, let alone that he played the goofy member of the Ghostbusters?
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Some great acting...the story itself was just okay.
planktonrules22 July 2021
"Get Low" is a film inspired by Felix Bushaloo "Uncle Bush" Breazeale. And, how close this film is to his later life is anyone's guess, as I could find nothing about the man on the Internet apart from his name and that this film was inspired by his funeral. But inspired is a loaded can mean the story is close to the truth or has almost nothing to do with it!

After watching the movie, I was left totally impressed with all the acting and not nearly impressed by the story itself. As for the acting, you'd expect perfection from Robert Duvall, but pretty much everyone was exceptional in the film....and this says a lot about the quality of the director as well. As far as the story goes, I felt like there was a huge buildup until the big reveal...and the big reveal wasn't enough to satisfy me after such a long wait.

The story is set in the late 1930s in the rural South. Felix has been a nasty hermit for decades and folks are shocked when he comes to town....and even more shocked when he announces that he's planning a funeral BEFORE he he can attend as well and listen to everyone's stories about him. I could say more....but you should just see it.

Overall, this is a fine example of acting being even better than the story....and for the quality of the acting, that alone is reason enough to see the film.

By the way, this film does something that has become popular in modern films...showing someone throwing up in vivid detail. Why?! You can hear a person retching or see them from behind....but why this disgusting need to show vomit? I don't get it.
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I Waited 90 Minutes, and all I got was THIS?
asc8531 August 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Yeah, Robert Duvall does a great acting job. So does Sissy Spacek. But the movie moved VERY slowly. Not only that, I assumed that Duvall's secret, the one that made him a hermit and put him in a self-imposed "prison" for 40 years was going to be a powerful one. Well, it wasn't. My reaction was, "That's it? That's the secret?" Compare this to Kristin Scott-Thomas's secret in "I Loved You So Long." OK, when that was revealed, it made me understand why she stoically stayed in prison and let everyone talk about her however they wanted to. This wasn't it. Why the vast majority of critics loved this movie is (obviously, due to my "5" rating) beyond me.
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a fine showcase for Duvall, Murray & Spacek, if not all great
Quinoa198418 November 2014
This dark-but-glad tale of an old, old man, Felix Bush (played by an old, old Robert Duvall) is a little too heartwarming when it should be really scathing, but such is its story about the quiet redemption wanted near the end. Basically a hermit, Duvall's character is a guy living in a self-made cabin over forty years and something of a kind of dark legend in a small town in the South (at least I think it's the South, whereabout Tennessee I think). He knows he's near the end, and he wants to prepare the funeral - rather, a funeral party. Money is no object, as long as a it can be pulled off by a Chicagoan funeral director played by a usually-perfect-deadpan Bill Murray (he has lines like "I sold 26 of the ugliest cars in the middle of December with the wind blowing so far up my ass I was farting snowflakes into July"), and his assistant (a grown-up Lucas Black). Meanwhile, Felix tries to reconcile with an old friend of his, Mattie (Sissy Spacek), and a dark secret from the past.

If you know how these movies go, you can guess when the secret is revealed... aw shucks, I'll say it, it's in the big final speech. The film works like that, giving us some very fine actors in some fine period clothes and fine production design, though only Duvall, and to a lesser extent Murray and Spacek, have full-formed people to work with. Felix does reveal himself to be more than craggily hermit, which is all well and good. It's only with the final climactic speech that the film really gets redeemed. There isn't much of a connection, er, catharsis, about Felix's relationship (or lack thereof) with the town itself, and only a little bit with a black preacher (very capable veteran character actor Bill Cobbs). It feels like most of the characters- Black's mostly- are there to serve whatever is going on with the lead figure, who, as played in his usual emotional tact and perfect way of saying every line like it matters life-or-death by Duvall.

It's a pleasant film, which is odd to note considering that it's about a man nearing the end of his days with a dark past unearthed and sins reopened (the opening shot, which is quite extraordinary with a house engulfed in flames and a figure running away from the house after jumping off the roof, is a key to this), but could have been more than just 'good' if it had more concern for its large ensemble. As a showcase for Duvall and Murray and Spacek it's worth recommending. As a really deep tale of loss and woe and death, there have been better.
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It's A Fight To Get Through This, Frankly, But If You Make It It's Worth It
sddavis6330 April 2011
"Get Low" opens with an eye catching and attention getting scene of a house going up in flames. You wonder - what's going on and why? Then you wait for an answer - and, to be blunt, you have to wait for a pretty long time to get it.

The movie then immediately becomes the story of Felix Bush (Robert Duvall) - a hermit type who lives alone in the backwoods of Tennessee with no friends except for an old mule. They're interesting, these cranky old hermit types. You wonder what happened in their life to make them the way they are; to make them turn away from people and society. Felix eventually comes into town with an unusual request: he wants to have a funeral - while he's still alive. I'm a pastor; I hear variations on that a lot, after a person has died - "if only we could all get together and say the nice things we just said to (whoever's) face while he was still alive." It's usually a lament offered by people who have nice things to say about the deceased but never said them. But no one has much that's nice to say about old Felix. Eventually the local undertaker and his assistant (played by Bill Murray and Lucas Black) step in to organize the event, assisted by an old clergy acquaintance of Felix, played by Bill Cobb.

Frankly, the story of how we get from the eye catching opening moments to the "live funeral party" is not exactly riveting. You know somehow it's all going to tie into that burning house so you stick with this to get the mystery revealed, but it's sometimes tough going and my eyes admittedly got heavy at times. There's a chuckle every now and then - Felix is the stereotypical hermit-curmudgeon - but ironically there's not really a lot of life to this until the funeral party.

The funeral party is where it all gets revealed, and the loose ends are tied up. Felix speaks to the assembled guests and pours his heart out about the mysterious dark spot in his past that caused him to cast himself away from society. It was a good performance from Duvall as he gave that speech, which was really more in the nature of a confession as he sought forgiveness. I wasn't entirely sure who he was seeking forgiveness from - God, the people, Mattie (Sissy Spacek), himself (or maybe a combination of all.) The hope held out in the movie (although it's only hope, because we don't really see enough of what happened after the funeral party to know) is that in seeking forgiveness, Felix found peace.

You have to fight your way through 80% of this. That's the trouble with this movie. The beginning leads you to expect something powerful, and the ending gives you something powerful - but in between it's a fight to stay with this. You manage to do it because you know there's a worthwhile story somewhere, and because it's not unpleasant to watch a pretty solid cast, even if they are playing pretty subdued roles. To me, that doesn't qualify this as a great movie. If you can make it through that 80% between the beginning and the end you'll find a worthwhile story, though. (4/10)
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So very boring
itamarscomix23 September 2011
The main reason I was looking forward to Get Low was the presence of two of my favorite actors, Bill Murray and Robert Duvall. I was disappointed, though, when I found no meaningful interaction between them on-screen. Robert Duvall is, in fact, the only thing that makes the movie watchable at all - after years of playing mostly quirky grandpas and grumpy old men, this is his first real character in many years, and he's still in top form delivering a fantastic character study. Bill Murray is good too - the character is perfect for him, but unfortunately not for the film.

Get Low has all the makings of a good film, but it falls flat. It's intentionally slow-paced and laid-back, of course, but it goes too far in that direction, dragging on and taking ages to get to an unsatisfying climax. Duvall's character is interesting, but not sympathetic enough; and the rest of the townsfolk have potential as characters, but the film moves so slowly that there's no time to really explore any of them. It may be worth remembering as part of the Robert Duvall filmography but not for anything else.
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