I like most of the movies that I make the effort to go see.
But every once in a while I absolutely love one of them.
It's been a while though. I can't really say when was the last time I left a theater totally and completely elated, ecstatic, and just plain head over heels in love. You know what I mean, though? That feeling you get when the credits start to roll: when your heart is so full it almost hurts and your mind is racing in that active, happy, elated way.
Well, that happened to me today after seeing "Get Low."
Get Low is incredible. It's funny and smart and authentic. The scenery, staging, and costumes feel completely organic to the point that you do NOT feel like you are even watching a movie.
And the acting!!!!!
Enough simply cannot ever be said about Robert Duvall. He has been and probably always will be one of my favorite actors. And this may be on my list of the top two or three favorite roles he has ever played. I rarely use this word because it gets over used and devalued, but in this case, it completely applies: He is incandescent.
And Bill Murray is, as always, wonderful. And Lucas Black!!! Why, why, why is Lucas Black not in more movies?!! He holds his own against Murray and Duvall like he has been acting with men of their caliber talent for ages. Such, such a surprising performance.
But the thing I loved most about Get Low is its heart. It's HUGE. But not in the cheap, manipulative, Nicholas Sparks kind of way. You won't cry when you think you will and you will cry when you least expect to, but you'll be laughing through the whole movie as well.
Which is why I want to say "thank-you Chris Provenzano" (man who wrote this screenplay). Thank-you for being thoughtful and brave and honest. Even though this is your first movie, I expect to see you on the shortlist for the Oscars in January. You deserve to be.
No really, if my gushing hasn't convinced you to go see this movie, maybe this will.
Duvall is picky. Obviously. He doesn't do anything but the best.
And do you know about Bill Murray?
Bill Murray does not have a proper agent. Bill Murray is not a client at CAA or any other Hollywood talent firm. Bill Murray does not live in LA, go to auditions, or take production/script meetings.
Apparently, the way it works goes like this. There are about two or three people in Hollywood that know the 1-800 phone number that will put you in touch with Murray's automated voice answering service. If you get the phone number, you can pitch your idea to Murray's voicemail. If he's interested, he'll tell those two or three guys to get the script for him. If he reads it and he likes it, he'll call you and set up a meeting.
No. I'm not shitting you.
Bill Murray is THE pickiest bitch. But don't let this pretentiousness turn you off. Murray is actually anything but a snob. He regularly mixes and mingles with everyday folk. It's Hollywood that he despises.
You've seen this video right? Murray, a huge music fan, goes to the music festival SXSW every year. This year, he got invited to a "music showcase house party" at the festival. One of the groups offered him the task of playing the tambourine. Which he did. Until the cops showed up and tried to shut it down. Bill let the kids try and defend their right to congregate and make music until, finally, he decided to step in and have a word with the officers (who didn't know he was there). He talked them into letting the band finish the set. Weird? Yes. A little creepy? Absolutely. But also Amazing.
For more insight into what a wack-a-doo Murray really is, read the recent piece on him in GQ. It is worth your five minutes...trust me. I especially like his response when the interviewer questions him about the widespread rumor that he will go up behind random people in New York, cover their eyes with his hands, say "guess who?" and when they turn around and see him, he will simply smile, shake their hand, and say "you know no one will ever believe you."
Anyway, the point is Duvall and Murray only do the best projects. And Get Low is one of the best. It's at 96% among Top Critics on Rotten Tomatoes and is playing at the Chelsea now.
Please do your heart a favor and go see it.