Get Low

Our story takes place in 1930s Tennessee, so the period cars, clothes and customs are a treat to the eye. This is the sort of role in which Robert Duvall ("Four Christmases") shines. He plays a taciturn old goat with a secret he has kept for 40 years. He lives in an unpainted shack in the woods, runs off terrified little boys with his shotgun and heads into town with a big idea: He wants the local Reverend, played by Gerald McRaney ("The A-Team") to conduct his funeral while he is still alive and invite anybody who has a story to tell about him. Naturally the minister declines.

A down-on-his-luck mortician, played by Bill Murray ("Get Smart") hears about it and is desperate enough that he is willing to give it a try. He takes his assistant, played by Lucas Black ("Jarhead"), out to the shack despite the "No Damn Trespassing" sign, to propose a deal.

A very welcome Sissy Spacek ("Big Love") makes her appearance none too soon, packing her own version of that secret; and we know that old codger played by Bill Cobbs ("My Summer Friend") also has his own take on it.

This unpredictable little film was part of a gala for the 2010 Seattle International Film Festival and has garnered its share of well-deserved praise. It's nice to watch professionals do their job with very little fuss or feathers.