When I heard that Robert Duvall and Bill Murray were starring in a movie together, I did not care one tiny bit what it was about, I just knew I had to see it. I was thrilled when it first arrived to the big screen and received widely positive reviews, and that was quite a surprise considering cinematographer Aaron Schneider was making his big screen debut, though this time sitting in the director's chair. Unfortunately, after the hyped up films like Inception, The Town, The Social Network, 127 Hours, and The King's Speech came out, I completely forgot Get Low even existed. Until last night, that is. I was desperately searching for something decent to watch, and just as I was about to call it quits, I stumbled upon this little film, never remembering till then that it was in my home. I decided I would start it, figuring that I would fall asleep along the way, and then something unexpected happened, I never moved once throughout the entire film. Whether the movie moved slow or not, every moment of it held my attention, and I think I am going to have quite a bit of fun reviewing it.
A hermit (Robert Duvall) has basically been "locked up" in his secluded house out in the woods for forty years, when he finds an odd reason to return to society. After getting sick of being the town joke and/or monster, he makes the decision to throw his own funeral party where anyone can come as long as they have a story to tell about him. However, after running into an old friend, Mattie (Sissy Spacek) the hermit, Bush, changes his reasons for throwing the party. Overcome with guilt from a past deed only few know about, Bush comes to the conclusion that the best thing for him to do is reveal the biggest secret from his past, and maybe then people will understand and forgive him of his old ways.
I definitely had more to praise about Get Low then to criticize, but my main problem with the film might be the most important, at least as far as the story is concerned. The ending, which is supposed to be a surprise, did not work very well for me. Much of the movie the conversations between characters don't make sense to the viewer, due to the fact that the surprise is the answer to what events actually took place in Bush's past that we don't know about. However, I felt that some of the conversations went a little too far, revealing way too much about the ending, and as a result leaving me very disappointed. The good news though, is the ending was touching and meaningful, making up for some of the disappointment, but not all.
Robert Duvall's performance largely contributed to the success of this film, but he along with the cast cannot get all of the credit, because Aaron Schneider did a very solid job here. Even though it was an unbelievable debut for Schneider, I unfortunately can't say that I see him having a future in the director's chair. His direction was not incredible, it was not even great, he jus took the cast, and story and held the film together very well. Which for a film like this that is all that was needed from him.
Now the acting, that is something that no film buff needed to miss. Robert Duvall was robbed by the Academy and I could not be more upset about it. His performance was so engaging and powerful, it was the best I have seen from him in years, absolutely fantastic in every possible way. He was so into his character that at times it was hard to believe I was watching an actor on the screen, much less one of my all time favorites. And the only thing that could have made it better was an excellent legend along side him. Oh wait, that was Bill Murray, wasn't it? It certainly was, and he was great. Sissy Spacek, another legend, was only there to make this already all star cast that much better. And even Lucas Black was a surprising good performance... kind of. But all in all everyone did very well.
Overall, Get Low works simply as a time killer for any film buff. The direction was solid and acting as good as you will see. It's too bad this film could not get more recognition than it did.