Saturday, August 07, 2010
Not a lot happens in this backwoods tale of an old hermit who decides to throw himself a funeral before he dies but it's still worth the price of admission. The reason is simple...Robert Duvall plays the hermit, Felix Bush and Bill Murray plays the funeral director, Frank Quinn. It's a pleasure to watch these actors work.
Mr. Duvall is at the top of his game as the old man who decides it's time to "get low", a southern term for time to die, but not before he can confess a 40 year old secret. His "Felix Bush" comes off as a crazy old coot but he's a man with a twinkle in his eye, who knows exactly what he's doing at all times. His monologue at his funeral party is a class in acting all by itself. Mr. Murray's "Frank Quinn" is a perfect foil to Mr. Duvall. Quinn is a desperate man as business has been slow and he really needs this last shot to stay afloat. He's oily and conniving but Mr. Murray holds back what could have been over the top and balances his personal needs with his belief in his client.
Co-starring is Sissy Spacek, who is so comfortable in her scenes with Mr. Duvall, you'd think they've worked together for years (when in fact, it's their first film together). In addition to Ms. Spacek, Lucas Black plays Mr. Quinn's assistant, Buddy and the great Bill Cobbs plays Rev. Charlie Jackson, the only other person who knows Bush's secret. Everyone in this film is perfectly cast and the acting is just wonderful to watch.
The script is a simple one but filled with some great dialog and on-liners. The cinematography is breathtaking with beautiful shots in the Georgia woods. Like Mr. Duvall's character, the film itself is quiet and reserved but it sneaks up on you and will have a lasting impression.