BLOG: Bill Murray and "Get Low"

Jason Singer
Jan 4, 2011

 

"I was in the Virgin Islands once. Met a girl. We ate lobster and drank pina coladas. At sunset we made love like sea otters. That was a pretty good day. Why couldn't I get that day over and over and over?" -- Bill Murray, "Groundhog's Day"

In his younger years, Bill Murray often played over-the-top, wisecracking characters who dominated the screen. He was larger than life. He was a caricature. He demanded the camera's undivided attention, and frankly, he deserved it.

Take "Caddyshack" for example. Or "Stripes". Or "Groundhog's Day". Or a dozen other excellent films.

In his later years, however, Murray has transformed into something completely different. He's an understated actor who focuses on subtelty. He finds laughter in the silence more often than the chaos. And he finds himself starring in indie films rather than mainstream blockbusters.

But one thing hasn't changed: Murray is still brilliant.

Take "Lost in Translation" for example. Or "The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou." Or "Broken Flowers." It's a different Bill Murray in these movies, for sure, but the results are the same: Lots of laughs.

"Get Low" appears to continue his trend of successes. Whether it falls into the first category (big) or second category of movies (small) is up for debate.

In "Get Low," Murray plays an undertaker tasked with putting together a funeral for a man who’s not yet dead. Robert Duvall co-stars in the film as a lonely hermit who wants to attend his funeral party now while he's alive, rather than when he’s in a box. The film is set in Tennessee in the 1930s. It's loosely based on the true story of Felix “Bush” Breazeale, a man who spent 40 years in seclusion before staging his own funeral party. In real life, the funeral attratced national media attention and 12,000 people from 14 different states. Check out the trailer below:

What do you think? Will you go see this movie?