This has become my favourite film this year .
I will admit it is not half as original as Inception.
Get Low is based on the true story of Felix Bush, a Tennessee hermit who held a funeral party while he was still alive after spending 40 years in a cabin in the woods because of a secret in his past. You can probably guess how the story is going to end but the pleasure lies in how the film gets you there.
It has as much heart as Toy Story 3 but was more moving because of the performances, especially Robert Duvall, in the lead. The film begins with a string of scenes where Duvall doesn’t speak but at its climax he gives a speech in which the gruff, acerbic Felix Bush made me cry my eyes out.
My money is on Duvall to win the Oscar. He still manages to put in the work despite reaching 80 next year. I don’t know what Hollywood puts in its water but Clint Eastwood is also still going strong at 80 – as was made clear when I saw a load of his work during the a festival in his honour at the Lincoln Center – and is still experimenting as both an actor and a director.
Get Low is from a first-time feature director, Aaron Schneider, which really surprised me as it is so well-crafted. As well as wonderful performances from all the cast, the film is beautifully shot – I can still remember how the light falls in some scenes – and the music perfectly matches its subject.
This movie won’t be for everyone – it’s not fast moving, it doesn’t rely on special effects, it’s not in 3D , it’s not based on a comic book, it doesn’t star a teenage heart-throb. Instead it relies on telling a story well, adult characters and believable dialogue – which seem simple but are all too rare in today’s Hollywood. If more films were like this I would go to the cinema far more often.