Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Bill Murray, on Eve of “St. Vincent” Success: “I Was Going to Quit” the Business


Tonight, Bill Murray’s “St. Vincent” premieres at the Ziegfeld Theater. He will more than likely receive an Oscar nomination for his work, and he could actually win. My money is on him.

Murray was overcome by the reaction to the film and his performance last month at the Toronto Film Festival. At the afterparty we discussed other times he’d been touted for awards, only to to be rejected. (He’s been nominated for “Lost in Translation,” something that was lost in the translation of any earlier item. He should have been nominated for “Tootsie” and “Rushmore.”)

We talked about his standout performance in Jim Jarmusch’s underrated “Broken Flowers.” Murray told me: “I was going to quit the business after that. I didn’t think I could do any better.”

In the last couple of years, Murray took another shot at awards with “Hyde Park on Hudson” playing Franklin Roosevelt. The intention was good but in the end it fell flat. His new character, Vincent, is a natural fit and shows Murray off to his best advantage. I’ll give you a fuller report later from the premiere.

But mark my words: this is Bill Murray’s year. He’d be up against Steve Carell, Al Pacino, Benedict Cumberbatch and Eddie Redmayne. Formidable competition.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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