In the beginning of the movie, the term, “get low” is defined as “down to business” and that is what I’ll do. Get Low, directed by Aaron Schneider and written by Chris Provenzano and C. Gaby Mitchell, is one of the richest movies on the screen today. Brilliant performances, great script, terrific photography and fabulous music–Get Low has it all.
Robert Duvall turns in a spectacular multi-dimensional performance as the mysterious hermit, Felix Bush, but his performance is matched by every person who utters a line in Get Low, including the baby (who may not speak, but has been coaxed to provide the perfect expressions).
Based on a true story, Get Low , in brief, is the story of Felix’s desire to hold his funeral before he actually dies so he can hear what people have to say about him. His request is spurned by the local minister (Gerald McRaney), but resonates with Frank Quinn (Bill Murray), the town’s undertaker and his ambitious assistant, Buddy Crane (Lucas Black).They turn his idea into a funeral party, whereby folks come to tell tales they’ve heard over the years about Felix. Not only does the “party” invigorate the town, but ironically, preparing for his funeral seems to give Felix a reason to live. The new spring in his step is also helped by the re-emergence of Mattie Darrow (Sissy Spacek ), a friend and possibly more, into his life.
This brief synopsis doesn’t do justice to this wonderful film. Scenes with Felix and his long-time friend, Reverend Charlie Jackson (Bill Cobb) are amazing and Murray, Black and Spacek are absolutely magnificent. They all have key scenes with Duvall, and boy, do they rise to his level of excellence. In an interview on Live with Regis and Kelly, Duvall remarked that Bill Murray was one of the few actors coming from Saturday Night Live who was a really good actor. That is evidenced in Murray’s wry, restrained performance.
Although the story takes place in Tennessee, the film was shot primarily in Georgia and the state has never looked better. The original music by Jan A.P. Kaczmarek, with additional music composed by Jerry Douglas, adds immeasurably to the film.
Come Oscar time, Get Low is sure to be recognized in several categories and justifiably so.
Landmark Bethesda Row Cinema
7265 Woodmont Avenue, Bethesda, MD
Landmark E Street Cinema
555 11th St. NW, Washington, DC
AMC Loews Shirlington 7
2772 South Randolph St., Arlington, VA
AMC Hoffman Center 22
206 Swamp Fox Rd., Alexandria, VA
AMC Loews Rio Cinemas 18
9811 Washingtonian Blvd., Gaithersburg, MD
Cinema Arts Theatre
9650 Main St, Fairfax, VA