Tom Sims, Executive Director of Cape May Film Society, reviews “Get Low”
I’m not sure if I’ve ever said this about a movie: I wanted it to be so much better. And don’t get me wrong, Get Low, starring Robert Duvall, Sissy Spacek, and Bill Murray, was very good — better than most movies today. It has all the ingredients of a superior film: excellent dialogue, some of the best performances from a stellar cast, and beautiful cinematography. But maybe there was too much exposition, or too little interest in a core story event. Whatever the case, the movie fell a little flat after starting with such effervescence.
That said, it’s still better than most films out there. Robert Duvall gives one of the best performances as outcast town hermit Felix Bush. Town folk tell stories about Felix, although none of them have particularly outlandish stories to tell. Felix wants them to tell all these stories at his funeral… with him present. Bill Murray plays Frank Quinn, the local undertaker who complains about how slowly people die in this town. He’s approached by Bush to host the funeral and is more than willing to oblige.
Sissy Spacek is also wonderfully cast as Felix’s long-lost companion, Mattie, who stirs up the secrets of Felix’s past. I wasn’t so impressed with those secrets as I was with the slowly-crafted and wonderfully-shot sequences leading up to it. The rest of the cast was all properly placed, especially Bill Cobbs (one of the busiest and finest character actors in history) as Reverend Charlie Jackson, who seems to know the secret to Felix’s past. The film was directed by Aaron Schneider, a relatively new director who won an Academy Award for his short film Two Soldiers in 2004.
I would recommend this film for its stylish cinematography and performances from an Oscar-winning cast. Trivia Question: For a free weekend pass to the Cape May Film Festival, name one of the Academy Awards won by Sissy Spacek or Robert Duvall (two passes goes to the first person who can name both plus the Oscar nomination for Bill Murray). Send answers to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are also reviewing films for the 10th annual Cape May Film Festival, and there are some notable films, including Wake, which will have its New Jersey premiere at our festival. This is an uplifting and poignant story of loss and honor. Beautiful camera work and tender storytelling will undoubtedly leave a lasting impression. Join us October 22-24 at the Chalfonte Hotel, and email us for more frequent updates.