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May 09, 2010

Get Low


Get-low-poster In the twilight of his career Robert Duvall holds an astonishing ability to create a character that transforms before your eyes. Duvall does so with such subtlety that it's only upon reflection that you can digest the magnitude of the performance. Certainly, director Aaron Schneider could not have hoped for a better actor to play Tennessee '30s folk legend Felix Bush. Duvall's irritable character lives as a hermit on a large plot of wilderness land where visitors are not welcome. Felix makes a rare journey into town to offer the local minister a huge wad of cash if he will preside over his funeral--the catch being that Felix wants to attend the ceremony while he's still alive to hear the infamous stories his neighbors have to tell about him. The minister refuses. Enter Bill Murray as the ambitious but honest funeral home owner Frank Quinn and his earnest assistant Buddy (Lucas Black). The pair work with Felix to concoct a plan to sell $5 raffle tickets to the funerary event they will organize. The raffle winner will take ownership of Felix's property and many acres of land upon his actual death. The deceptively simple premise allows for some especially dry but funny one-liners from Bill Murray. But it's Duvall who captures your imagination as he gradually peels away layers of buried emotion to express fully the reason for Felix's self-imposed exile. "Get Low" is yet another gem in Duvall's storied acting crown.  . 

Rated PG-13. 102 mins. (A-) (Four Stars - out of five/no halves)

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