Robert Duvall is fine as a misunderstood hermit with a painful secret, and he gets a showy soliloquy toward the film's conclusion, but the secret he reveals has been built up so much by the screenplay that it fizzles when it's actually learned in its entirety. Sissy Spacek is wasted as a love from Duvall's past, and Lucas Black looks handsome but has the unfortunate job of standing around looking dumbstruck for most of the film's running time. Only Bill Murray, who seems out of place for the period but who manages to inject some humor into the film, gave me much reason to pay attention.
The film doesn't really work on any level -- it's not emotionally weighty enough to work as effective drama, it's too morose to make its more comedic elements come alive, and it's too tame to take full advantage of its Southern Gothic elements. It's not unwatchable, but it is a bit of a dud.