Get Low (2009)

Get Low (2009) – At your funeral, it’s a safe bet that people are going to say nice things about you. That’s just kind of what people do at funerals. The bummer is that while everyone is gushing over what an awesome person you are you can’t hear a word of it because you’re stone cold dead. That is why they’re having your funeral after all. Get Low is the story of a hermit in the 1930s who decides to throw his own funeral while he is still alive. Played very grizzled by Robert Duvall (a man who knows grizzled), Felix Bush invites anyone to his funeral who has a story to tell. After being turned down by the local priest (Gerald McRaney) he enlists the help of two funeral directors (Bill Murray and Lucas Black). Seeing as Bush’s reputation is mostly as an old coot who shoots at people who approach his land, there is a reluctance by people to come forward. Felix sweetens the deal by raffling off the rights to his land (after he’s really dead, of course). There’s more than just the desire for an audience behind Felix’s plans though. It may be something involving a woman from his past (Sissy Spacek) or something involving the dark secret he shared with another [less local] preacher (the always-reliable Bill Cobbs). Duvall was nominated for various Best Actor awards for the role (though not the Oscar), but I think Murray and Cobbs steal the movie in every scene they are in. There’s a subgenre of films involving the residents of small towns who have their own way of doing things and Get Low kind of fits right in to that. It’s not a perfect movie but charming enough and with great performances.

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