The new comedy-drama called "Get Low" stars Robert Duvall and Bill Murray.
It's based on the true story of an old hermit in Tennessee who threw a funeral party for himself while he was still alive.
The actors are terrific; the cinematography is lovely, but in the end, the script of "Get Low" lets everybody down.
Murray: You wanna have a funeral party while you're alive, so you can go?
Duvall: Yes or no?
The time is the 1930's. Duvall is Felix Bush, the old hermit who decides he should let everyone know his big secret while he's still here. To gain publicity of his "funeral" he allows undertaker Murray to put him on the radio.
Radio announcer: Forty years you shut yourself off like that? Now why would you do that, Mr. Bush?
Duvall: come to the funeral; maybe you'll find out.
iIt's a promising set up. and the actors really command the screen especially Bill Murray as a funeral director whose business isn't doing well.
Murray (to his helper): People are dying in bunches everywhere but here. What are the odds of a funeral home going broke? You have a business that everybody on earth needs. You can't make that work, it's gotta be you, right?
All the characters have hidden agendas even Sissy Spacek as a woman Felix wooed many years ago.
Spacek: Look at you. I wondered if you were still under that beard.
Duvall: Well, I wouldn't know where else to go.
These offbeat characters are appealing, but they're not quite real. And when the funeral finally does take place, the speech Duvall gives just doesn't deliver a strong enough explanation for his forty years of isolation.
"Get Low" depends on off screen events for its impact. You would think that any talented filmmaker would know better than that.
What it comes down to is that I enjoyed watching these fine actors, but they deserved a more coherent script. The payoff just isn't there.