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Academy Award winner Robert Duvall (1983, Best Actor, Tender Mercies) is Felix Bush, the “Hermit of Caleb County,” a man so haunted by his secrets that he has lived in quiet desolation in the Tennessee backwoods for over 40 years. Realizing that he is near his own mortality, Bush decides to have a “living funeral party,” inviting people to tell their stories about him. Enlisting the help of Frank Quinn (Golden Globe winner Bill Murray, 2004, Best Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy, Lost in Translation) and Buddy Robinson (Lucas Black, Legion), Bush goes through a process of self-discovery, allowing him to deal with his past secrets, including ones involving old flame (and new widow) Mattie (Academy Award® winner Sissy Spacek, 1980, Best Actress, Coal Miner's Daughter).
The Deep South: Buried Secrets
Getting Low: Getting Into Character
A Screenwriter's Point of View
Cast & Crew Q&A
On the Red Carpet
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If you came here looking for a funny movie; for light entertainment, for noise to have on in the background: This is not that movie.
If you have ever been moved by beauty; if a poem or a painting has touched you;
If you think of old fashioned story telling as an art...
If you can connect with this one quote:
"She turned around and looked at me... I did not even know I had a heart until that moment." Please get comfortable and give yourself to Aaron Schneider's Get Low
The story is set in a mythic bygone Hill Country America of long ago. An old hermit, Felix Bush (Robert Duval) has kept to himself since a fire some 40 years before. He is a vaguely threatening mysterious figure, feared in four counties. But it is now time for him to "Get Low" that is, come clean. He must do this if he is to accept his coming death. Fist he will turn to the town minister (Gerald McRaney) who will tell him he must confess if he is to get low. Confession is the one thing Felix cannot do
He then turns to town undertaker Frank Quinn (Bill Murry) a man with his own secrets and perhaps his own wish to get low, but a man who must have a sale. Between them and funeral home assistant Buddy (Lucas Black) they agree to put on a Funeral Party. Felix invites anyone with a story to tell about Felix and for $5 more they can get a chance to own his 300 acres.
Having exposed himself to the local townspeople he runs into old flame Mattee Darrow (Sissy Spacek) who is clearly ready to rekindle their shared past.
There is a story that Felix has to tell and cannot bring himself to tell. Most of what is known about Felix is gossip and half true and unrelated to the secret of his forty years. The one other person who knows, The Rev Charles Jackson (Bill Cobbs), and has the closest relationship with Felix cannot tell Felix's story. Felix cannot be a free man or be ready for ever closer death, until he tells his secret.
This is the kind of story telling that justifies movie making. The acting is honest, simple and true. Because of authentic accents, costumes and settings, one is fully enveloped in this story.
From here I can only make simpering sounds of admiration, or tell more spoilers. If you can be moved by a movie, this is it. This is not a movie you buy, this is a favor you give to yourself and share with friends who matter.
The finely crafted script develops the story meticulously, taking such care that one would think time would crawl, but so well told that the time flies by. The supporting cast is superb, with Lucas Black as the assistant at the funeral home, Sissy Spacek as the old flame who remembers the hermit from forty years ago, and Bill Cobbs as the preacher who has known the hermit's secret for all those decades.
Based on an actual incident and shot on location in Georgia, the ambience of the film feels entirely authentic. The Blu-ray presentation is sharp, clear, and as colorful as the somewhat drab 1930s setting allows. If you like a good story well told by actors of the highest skill, this is a film for you.