Film Review: GET LOW

Directed by Aaron Schneider

Written by Chris Provenzano and C. Gaby Mitchell
Starring, Robert Duval, Sissy Spacek, Bill Murray, Lucas Black
Running Time 102 minutes
Released, August, 2010
What’s not to like in a film where the average age is over sixty—if you are over sixty. One thing, which may also betray my age, was my problems with the title. Looking it up now for the credits, I tried Get Down, Go Down, Go Low before I came up with Get Low. (Get Low means being buried).I’ll just call it Robert Duvall’s 2010 Oscar performance. One more in a string of interesting and well-made movies from one of the great actors of our time. Many people have gone to this film believing it to be a comedy based on the trailers. There are a few comic moments but the underlying theme is far from comic. Let’s take a look at what it is.

PLOT: Felix Bush (Duvall) learns of the death of an old friend and decides he’d like to both plan and attend his funeral. Attend it alive in fact and invite the whole town to come and tell stories about him. There is also a financial incentive for attendance.
He goes to the town’s funeral director, Frank Quinn (Murray) and presents his idea. The town and the funeral director have fallen on hard times so taking on Bush, harebrained scheme or not, seems like a good idea. While the funeral is being planned Bush meets up with some characters from his past: Mattie Darrow, a one-time girlfriend and Rev. Jakcson (Bill Cobbs) a man he built a chapel for. These interactions are the thrust of the film.

The funeral turns out to be the time and place for Bush to divulge the events of a night that made him the town’s curmudgeon. To say any more about these events would spoil the film. But truly, the plot is not the thing to enjoy here. What is enjoyable is Robert Duvall, Sissy Spacek, Bill Murray and Bill Cobbs reminding us of why they are still on a payroll.

This is not a great film, but it was a nice way to pass two hours with old friends. Only an actor like Duvall could pull it off.

Patti Abbott writes crime fiction short stories. She hosts a look at Forgotten Books every Friday with readers, writers and reviewers at She hopes you’ll join in.