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GET LOW (2010) ** ½

Robert Duvall reaches a new all-time level of grizzled as an old timer who knows he’s about to kick the bucket. He doesn’t want to be put in the ground right away, so he pays morticians Lucas Black and Bill Murray to hold a funeral for him while he’s still alive. He’s something of a local pariah and people throw rocks at him when he comes to town. Still, Duvall invites everyone who has a story to tell about him to the funeral, mostly because he wants to hear what people would say about him when he dies while he’s still alive.

Nobody plays a miserable old cuss like Robert Duvall so Get Low is worth watching just to see him completely in his wheelhouse. Murray is also good as the sly, subtle huckster trying to wring a buck out of the old man and Sissy Spacek has some nice scenes with Duvall. I also dug seeing Major Dad’s Gerald McRaney as the town preacher.

Get Low is slight, quirky, and mostly enjoyable. It spins its wheels a bit too much once it hits the halfway point though. Duvall has a “Big Secret” that is pretty obvious from the get-go, which sort of dilutes some of its oddball charm. The film is much better when it's working as a character study of a crotchety old coot. The dramatic scenes towards the end don’t work nearly as well, but overall it’s still a decent enough, if forgettable little movie.

AKA: The Funeral Party.

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