Some movies are great because of clever writing, flashy effects, or knockout acting. But others draw their appeal from understatement. Such is the great strength of Get Low, which, though drawn from a true story, could just have easily been pulled from a Flannery O'Connor tale about sin and guilt—and a Southern town's strangest character.
In 1930s Tennessee, legends abound about Felix Bush (Robert Duvall; our interview), the hermit who lives in a one-room log cabin at the edge of the woods. He's been withdrawn from society for so long that he hasn't really spoken to anyone in years. Small boys dare one another to go near his home. Townsfolk tell of his dark past, and his appearance—old clothing, long beard, and fierce look—only adds to the mystery and fear.
But one day Felix shows up in town with a wad of cash and finds the preacher. "It's time to get low," he tells him—time to settle the score and ready himself for his final days. He wants to plan his funeral, but it won't be just any funeral. He wants everyone in town to attend the "funeral party" and tell their stories about him. Unsure of Felix's spiritual state, the minister refuses to participate.
But Buddy (Lucas Black) overhears. He's just begun working for Frank Quinn (a weirdly but well-cast Bill Murray), a new man in town running the local funeral home that is, inexplicably, not getting much business. Buddy grew up locally and has heard the tales about Felix, but they need the business, so he and Frank venture into the woods to offer their services to Felix.
Felix's funeral party grows to epic proportions, the event of the season for the small town. But a chance encounter with an old friend, Mattie Darrow (Sissy Spacek), reminds Felix of his ...