I love movies that totally grab you in their first scene. Get Low opens on a pre dawn country scene. A house is going up in flames. Then a figure is seen falling from a second story window and running away. The importance of this scene is not revealed until later, but it pulled me in and then haunted me throughout the rest of the film.
Get Low follows a hermit named Felix Bush (Robert Duvall) as he goes about having a funeral party for himself... while he is still alive. Having lived in self imposed seclusion for over 40 years, Mr. Bush has a 'bad reputation' and gossip stories follow him around. As the movie progresses, Mr. Bush's motives for his funeral party become clearer, and the heartbreaking truth comes out.
Bill Murray plays Frank Quinn, the funeral home director. His character is a lovable scoundrel with some fantastically witty lines. I appreciate roles where Murray can be more subtle in his humour because at times it is more powerful and enjoyable than his total comic roles. His young assistant, played by Lucas Black, seems to be the moral compass or medium between Quinn and Bush. The three characters balance each other out beautifully. The verbal banter between them gave the impression that they knew each other for years.
After seeing this movie, I think I need to see more Duvall movies. He carried the emotional weight of this character so convincingly that at times it was painful to watch the character struggle. That being said, the character development of all the roles was amazing, and the sense of sincerity in their characters was very inviting. I left the movie wanting to know more about all of them.
Ultimately, this is a movie about redemption, love and forgiveness (of others and the self), and I give it an 8/10.