Six feet un­der — but not yet

Pasatiempo - - Moving Images - Robert Nott The New Mex­i­can

Get Low, ru­ral drama, rated PG-13, Re­gal DeVargas, 3 chiles There are peo­ple who, well aware of the se­cret sins they have com­mit­ted, build not only their own prison but their own gal­lows. Felix Bush is one such man. A self-ex­iled el­derly her­mit who lives in a house way out in the Ten­nessee woods, Felix pun­ishes him­self for a mys­te­ri­ous bad deed he com­mit­ted in his youth. One day in the mid­dle of win­ter, circa 1930, he rides into town for the first time in decades, look­ing like an aged Boo Radley from To Kill a Mock­ing­bird com­ing out to meet the light.

“It’s time for me to get low,” Felix tells the town preacher. “I need a fu­neral.” “For whom?” the preacher asks. “For me.” “Are you sick?” “Ev­ery­body dies.” In fact, Felix has died — in­side — long be­fore his day of reck­on­ing, and his hope is to host a fu­neral that is one part party and two parts con­fes­sional. When the preacher de­clines to help him, Felix in­stead en­lists the aid of a cou­ple of des­per­ate-to-work fu­neral-home op­er­a­tors, Frank (Bill Mur­ray) and Buddy (Lu­cas Black), to get the job done.

And that’s the premise of Get Low, a solid, quiet, con­tem­pla­tive drama with wel­come doses of dark hu­mor that doesn’t quite go far enough on any level to achieve great­ness. Based on an old Ten­nessee fa­ble about a sup­posed real-life gen­tle­man, the film, di­rected by Aaron Schneider and writ­ten by Chris Proven­zano and C. Gaby Mitchell, mixes wry com­edy, back­woods whimsy, and melo­dra­matic tragedy into a cin­e­matic stew that is tasty but still missing some nec­es­sary in­gre­di­ents.

The Boo Radley ref­er­ence is ap­pro­pri­ate here, given that Felix is played by Robert Du­vall, who played Radley in the 1962 film ver­sion of Mock­ing­bird. Du­vall is listed as one of Get Low’s ex­ec­u­tive pro­duc­ers; he must have seen this film as a good op­por­tu­nity


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