My wife and I stayed up late last night to watch a tremendously enjoyable film, Broken Flowers, on the advice of my friend Tim. It was great and showed me once again just how gifted Bill Murray is as a serious actor. I don't mean to say it wasn't funny. Just like Sofia Coppola's Lost in Traslation, this Jim Jarmusch movie has scenes in it that are hilarious. But unlike many of Murray's films, he doesn't play a goof. He plays someone real in circumstances which could very well be real but are, to use one of my favourite phrases, "stranger than fiction". I do like some of those light and frothy films too (Meatballs especially) but these don't have the impact that Bill's more recent work has for me.
Of course Murray has been in other serious films. My wife, Karen, reminded me today of the remake of The Razor's Edge that we saw together years ago. That was hard for us to see since it was the first serious role we'd seen him in. Karen says she'd like to see it again and so would I just to see if I could take it better. The Tyrone Power 1946 version is one of my favourite movies and so that's another reason why seeing the Bill Murray version was so hard. But, rumour has it, Murray said he wouldn't do a remake of Ghostbusters unless they'd give him that remake of the Razor's Edge. I don't know if that's true but it sure makes an interesting anecdote.
But Broken Flowers is worth the rental or the walk to the library. I especially enjoyed the interaction with Don Johnston's (the Murray character) friend Winston and the ending of the movie. I'm left feeling that this was a movie far more based in reality than a lot of Hollywood smoke and mirrors. Very highly recommended.