My roommate and best friend for a couple of years at Stanford was Dick Zanuck, now the über-successful film producer (Driving Miss Daisy, Butch Cassidy, and more recently the Tim Burton/Johnny Depp collaborative mega-filns. We’ve kept in touch over the years and he knows I like the film work of his son Dean (who produced Road to Perdition in 2002), so last week he sent me two tickets to an advance screening of Dean’s latest movie, Get Low with Robert Duvall, Bill Murray, and Sissy Spacek. (I mean, how could you go wrong?) My friend Jack Fulton and I went. It was at the grand old Castro Theater in San Francisco. Before the screening, Duvall answered questions for maybe 45 minutes. His favorite role of all time was in the TV series Lonesome Dove; he said he walked into the makeup room on the Lonesome Dove set and said, “Boys, we’re making the Godfather of westerns,” He considers the first two Godfathers masterpieces. Asked how do you get into all these different roles, he said, you have to know yourself.
He must know himself pretty well, because he gives a brilliant performance in this wonderful movie. It opens July 30 and you can see a trailer at: https://is.gd/bRlaz
It’s a great script, wonderful acting, set in 1930s Tennessee. Duvall’s log cabin is a beauty, with a stone fireplace; inside wide horizontal planks, orange glow from kerosene lanterns and flickering fireplace flames. Just lovely throughout. Bill and Sissy are perfect. Duvall’ is a 100% Academy Award performance, powerful, nuanced, and I hope the fact that this is a low-budget film without big-bucks backing doesn’t stop him from being nominated.
Here’s to guys who make movies from the heart.