Bill Murray Introduces Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom (And Plays FDR In December)

Excit­ed Wes Ander­son fans: do you need one more watch­able to tide you over before Moon­rise King­dom enters wide release tomor­row? Wes Ander­son-neu­tral film­go­ers: do you need a lit­tle help cut­ting through the fans’ cloud of antic­i­pa­tion so you can make out what Moon­rise King­dom actu­al­ly is? Both groups could ben­e­fit from a tour of the film by comedic super­star and unlike­ly Ander­son reg­u­lar Bill Mur­ray. The film, a sto­ry of two young sweet­hearts on the run in 1965 New Eng­land, fea­tures Mur­ray in the role of the girl’s father. Or, in his own words: “I play a, um… a man in the film.” He goes on to describe the direc­tor (“a nice guy, he’s made some good movies”), his co-stars (“Bruce Willis, play­ing a police­man — type­cast, I guess”), and the pro­duc­tion’s sim­ple accom­mo­da­tions (“we had tents — like, pup tents”). He even cross­es a wall from one set to anoth­er, echo­ing his tour of the Bela­fonte in The Life Aquat­ic with Steve Zis­sou, three Ander­son movies back. Whether you need the excite­ment inflat­ed or deflat­ed, leave it to Mur­ray, mas­ter of the dead­pan mul­ti­ple mean­ing.

If you fol­low Mur­ray’s craft and the some­times unex­pect­ed chal­lenges to which he applies it, keep your eyes open this awards sea­son for Hyde Park on Hud­son, a dra­ma built around Mur­ray as for­mer Unit­ed States Pres­i­dent Franklin Delano Roo­sevelt. Can’t envi­sion it? Then give the trail­er above a watch. The pic­ture comes from direc­tor Roger Michell, best known in the last decade for Venus, and Not­ting Hill in the decade before that. This new peri­od piece rep­re­sents not a break from his usu­al Eng­lish ter­ri­to­ry and sen­si­bil­i­ty so much as a recon­tex­tu­al­iza­tion of it: it takes place dur­ing a par­tic­u­lar week­end in 1939, the first time a British monarch made the trip to Amer­i­ca, when Roo­sevelt enter­tained the King and Queen at his upstate New York home. The Wes Ander­son faith­ful will note a reunion of sorts between Mur­ray and Olivia Williams, who near­ly four­teen years ago played Miss Cross in Ander­son­’s Rush­more. Her role in Hyde Park on Hud­son? Eleanor Roo­sevelt.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Fact Check­ing Bill Mur­ray: A Short, Com­ic Film from Sun­dance 2008

Wes Anderson’s New Com­mer­cials Sell the Hyundai Azera

Rare Footage: Home Movie of FDR’s 1941 Inau­gu­ra­tion

Col­in Mar­shall hosts and pro­duces Note­book on Cities and Cul­ture. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall.

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