Felix, played by Robert Duval in one of his greatest roles, knows it is time to get low. However, before he dies he needs to come clean with the town as to why he has been a feared hermit for 40 years. Consequently he wants to have a funeral party before he dies; a party where people will tell stories about him but more importantly he can tell his story.
Bill Murray as the opportunist funeral director is more that willing to help him. I love Murray's later works, away from the strict comedy. He has deadpan timing in these more serious roles. Lucas Black, an actor that I have never seen, is great as the assistant to the funeral director.
In fact, the casting in the film is right on.
Sissy Spacek, too long away from movies, is brilliant as the only one in town that knew Felix from before his hermit life.
The movie's pace is slow and shot with muted tones of color. Both of which add to the mood of this strange story taking place in Tennessee in the 1930s.