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Get Low


Stars: Robert Duvall, Bill Murray, Sissy Spacek, Lucas Black, Bill Cobbs, Gerald McRaney

Director: Aaron Schneider

As far off the beaten track as its settings, this film is so old-fashioned, you half expect the colour be credited as Metrocolor thanks to the mid-1960s feel it has. But it also has quality performances to complement its burnished photography by Dana Boyd and holds the interest more often than not with its story of a small southern US town in the 1920s, and the bewhiskered, hermit-like Felix Bush (Duvall) who lives in the woods surrounding it.

For local undertaker Quinn (a surprisingly well-cast Murray) and his assistant Buddy (Black), business is bad. There's a limited number of people in their patch and they're just not dying. So their interest immediately perks up when the elderly Felix takes time out from chasing local kids off his property to announce he wants to hold his own funeral party.

He has a huge wad of notes ready to pay for things and a guilty secret he's been harbouring for 40 years - and plans to spill at the party.

Director Schneider does spin his story out a bit too much, but there are some nice aphorisms along the way, notably 'Gossip is the Devil's radio.' A quiet pleasure.

David Quinlan

USA 2009. UK Distributor: Sony (Sony Pictures Classics). Colour by deluxe.
104 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: PG.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 18 Jan 2011