Get Low

In this Southern folk yarn, a Tennessee hermit, played by Robert Duvall, emerges from the backwoods to host his own funeral.

Directed by Aaron Schneider

(PG-13)

***

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Get Low’s seemingly bizarre premise is based on a true-life tale, said Sheri Linden in the Los Angeles Times. In the late 1930s, after decades of hiding in the Tennessee backwoods, a recluse named Felix Breazeale emerged to throw himself a funeral—five years before his actual death. “In lesser hands this Southern saga might have collapsed into whimsical corn,” but director Aaron Schneider and his outstanding cast instead create a “deeply felt” folk yarn. As Felix, Robert Duvall proves he is “still able to carry a movie easily and gracefully,” said A.O. Scott in The New York Times. He is “vivid, enigmatic, and unpredictable” as he unveils his mysterious character. But the film meanders toward its melodramatic resolution, which turns out to be disappointing mainly because everything leading up to it has been “so richly and comfortably human.” Minor flaws are soon forgotten when watching the film’s superb actors, said Rex Reed in The New York Observer. Whether it involves Duvall, Sissy Spacek as Felix’s old flame, or Bill Murray as the funeral director, every scene is an “acting lesson.”

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