Monday, May 23, 2011

"Get Low" with Robert Duvall, Sissy Spacek and Bill Murray

This is a very moving film, one which explores the issues of guilt and redemption, along with forgiveness and faith. Powerful performances by Robert Duvall and Sisssy Spacek, set against the more laid back characters played by Bill Murray, as a Funeral Director, and Lucas Black, as the preacher, make this a slick production , while still maintaining the grit necessary to tell the story.

Robert Duvall gives a very deep, and moving, performance in this drama about an old man, Felix Bush, in the hills of Kentucky, who is ready to die. But he wants to do it his way. He has virtually locked himself in a prison of his own making since the tragedy of 40 years ago. Rumors abound about his actions concerning some unspoken events that drove him to live the life of a hermit, while being shunned by a community that really has no idea why they are shunning him in the first place.

The preacher wants him to make his peace with Jesus, but Felix insists upon taking his plea to the people he may have harmed, including Mattie, Sissy Spacek, who is the sister of someone he loved so long ago, and whose love for her still burns.

There is so much symbolism in this film that it is possible to watch it on several levels. On the first level, it's a wonderful story. On the next level, it is a tale of a man tormented by his own demons, looking for forgiveness. When he cannot find it, he looks to those whom he has directly hurt to gain it.

Planning for a "living" funeral, at which he will be present, he asks that people come to tell the stories, true or otherwise, which they have heard about him. Then he tells them the truth of what happened that night so long ago, asking them to forgive him.

A film that strikes at the heart, and makes you think about the power of forgiveness, and whether it is divine, and gained through faith; or whether it is something to be earned, by doing penance, and then asking for true release from those whom you have hurt. This is a very moving film, showcasing the ever increasing acting abilities of veteran actors Robert Duvall and Sissy Spacek. With superb screen writing, and the absence of special effects, this movie is a winner.

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