Any time a book strikes a chord with a vast number of people, as Kathryn Stockett’s The Help did, there is a mixture of anticipation and trepidation about its transition to the screen. Overall, I think writer-director Tate Taylor has done a good job bringing the book and its characters to life, in concert with an exceptional cast. And, crucially, he has managed to recreate the look and feel of a Southern town in the 1960s, with its separate but unequal citizenry: the well-to-do white folks and their black servants.
If you lived through that time, it is incredible to contemplate how much has changed (and how much hasn’t) over the years, not only in race relations but in attitudes toward women. That’s part of the fascination of watching The Help, which captures so many telling details of—
Get Low is one of the treats of the summer movie season, a modest film that offers ample rewards, not the least being the opportunity to watch wonderful actors at work. The setting is Tennessee during the Great Depression. Robert Duvall is well cast as a man who’s lived as a hermit for the past forty years. One day he turns up in town and asks the local preacher to hold his funeral—while he’s still alive. Over the course of the film we learn what has brought him to this moment, and what drove him away from his friends and neighbors so many years ago.
In less expert hands, this part could have become a caricature. Instead, Duvall actually—
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