A delectable rhythm develops among the three men.


An Illusion Review by Joan Ellis

            You won't hear a cough or a whisper or the rustle of popcorn when you see "Get Low." It's different from a respectful quiet; it's that the audience has forgotten where it is. With the first beat of this terrific movie, we are transported up and into the story - a rare and wonderful thing.
            A riveting opening lingers on a country house as it burns to the ground. Considerable time will pass before that awful event takes its place in the story, but we know it will; it hangs there, a first impression that we know will become a key. Felix "Bush" Breazeale (Robert Duvall) is a hermit living in his chosen rural isolation. For forty years, the townspeople have gossiped about him and his past and now, for reasons we can't imagine, he rides to town in his wagon and ties up in front of the funeral home where he asks the funeral director to plan a funeral party for him. He will come to the party; he will speak; and he wants the townsfolk to retell in public the gossip they have heard about him. "Tell them to tell one...a story about me. I want to be there." And that's about the longest sentence you will hear from this man of few words.
            Bush delivers his novel request to Frank (Bill Murray) and his assistant Buddy (Lucas Black) at the funeral home. The point where all this turns into more than just good movie comes when we realize that neither Frank nor Buddy is a charlatan. They fall in step with Felix's plan, and as they do it, a delectable rhythm develops among the three men.
            At this point, both the widow Mattie (the marvelous Sissy Spacek) and Reverend Charlie Jackson (Bill Cobbs) slip seamlessly into the story. We know we have been removed from reality when the crowd, assembling for the funeral party, seems to be made of alien beings. We have fallen completely into the lives of the few people who have invited us into their world, and we are feeling protective of them even though we still have no idea what will happen when the secrecy that surrounds them finally lifts.
            Watching Duvall, Murray, Spacek, and Black act together without once breaking the mood is pure pleasure. Everyone slows to Bush's quiet pace to create this tall tale. Robert Duvall is masterful in this role. Sissy Spacek's Mattie glides gracefully into the story without any need for explanation of her past. Bill Murray plays it straight as the funeral director and surprises us with his humanity. Lucas Black is just right as the young man in training to be a good human being. In the darkness of the woods, the house, the barn, and the rain, you will feel you have been indoors for ages and yet you will feel lifted by the sheer gift of a wonderful story beautifully told.


Copyright (c) Illusion

Return to Ellis Home Page