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Get Low Scores High Reviews

by Anne Thompson
July 28, 2010 1:55 AM
4 Comments
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Thompson on Hollywood

Psst! Don't tell any contrarian film critics. But Get Low so far is scoring 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. (UPDATE: IndieWIRE's CriticWIRE is tougher: B-.)

The premiere is Tuesday night; I'm going to see it again because I haven't seen it since Toronto last fall. This afternoon I flip-cammed Robert Duvall and producer Dean Zanuck (son of Richard, grandson of Darryl). Bill Murray, who is hilarious as an undertaker in the film, didn't show up for press day. I want to see how the movie plays at the Academy. It should be a soft lob down the middle for Oscar voters.

Here's Joe Leydon's Variety review:

With a mix of sly humor, homespun grace and affecting poignancy, "Get Low" casts a well-nigh irresistible spell while spinning a Depression-era folk tale from the Tennessee backwoods. Robert Duvall compellingly underplays the larger-than-life lead role of Felix Bush, a notorious hermit who rejoins society only to plan his own funeral party, and he's backed by smartly cast supporting players who clearly savor the twofer of portraying vividly drawn characters opposite a consummate thesp. Appreciative reviews and savvy marketing could attract adult ticketbuyers, especially if this polished indie production emerges as a high-profile specialty release.

Will post interviews soon.

4 Comments

  • the preparer of Babbette's Feast | July 29, 2010 5:45 AMReply

    Anyone for anachronisms?
    I'm not one to carp about such things (I'm nearly always too swept up in a movie to notice) but when Bill Murray says about Duvall's character:
    "Is it just me, or does he sound articulate when he wants to?"

    Is it just me? Or was "Is it just me?" probably not in common parlance in the backwoods of Tennessee in the 1930's?

  • Bill | July 28, 2010 10:42 AMReply

    I saw Get Low at Sundance, and it was genteel and underwhelming, best suited to the Hallmark Channel. Duvall was excellent, and Bill Murray was his usual sly self, but this was nothing special. Give it a B-

  • Gail | July 28, 2010 8:16 AMReply

    Someone asked me how the movie was (I caught the premiere last night thanks to a generous friend in the business.) I said it was "well-crafted."
    I would have to chime in with Bob that it left me fairly cold. Oh, yes, the excellent work of Sissy Spacek and Robert Duvall extracted a few tears. And the movie was beautiful to look at. But I never got lost in it, never felt I was watching real people, never got carried away.
    For that, I highly recommend "Mademoiselle Chambon", which opened in L.A. Friday, with little fanfare except a rave review from Kenneth Turan.

  • Bob Westal | July 28, 2010 3:19 AMReply

    Wow. I am genuinely surprised by this as I usually tend to have reactions that are almost alarmingly non-contrarian (though I'll often be the one guy who declares putatively "love it or hate it" movies to be "not bad") and I probably admire the actors in this film about as much as almost everybody does.

    My review won't register on the Tomatometer or Metacritic, but I saw this a few weeks ago and really and truly got next to nothing out of it. I didn't conduct a survey at the screening, but I wasn't sensing much electricity in the room either. As for Bill Murray being funny...it's just one of those "did we see the same movie" things. Duvall was very good and definitely the best thing in the movie but this is a long way from his best work, in my view.

    By the way, while "Top Critics" is still at 100% as of this writing, it's actually now at 96% thanks to Nick Schager of Slant. The critics there are usually tougher than me, but this time I felt he was spot on, and his review is actually slightly more positive than mine.

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