' ' Cinema Romantico: Christmas Comes Early

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Christmas Comes Early

I saw some scuttlebutt from the Twitter autocrats recently in the wake of a few amounts of copious praise for the latest PT Anderson opus that some critics, if you want to use that word, are too un-judicious in their hyperbolic praising of auteurs for which they possess immense fondness. And while the autocrats weren’t aiming their social media bellyaching at me and my devout adoration for Sofia Coppola, well, they may as well have been because I don’t hide my Sofia zealotry. I go tell it on the mountain. She’s the awesomest, bro, and you can take your polite reservations and journalistic objectivity and drown it in my leftover Sofia Blanc de Blanc. Real talk: we all have biases and I do not hide mine.

I was having a day. Just, you know, a day; a regular ol’ day. I mean, I live in Chicago and the Cubs beat the Cardinals in the playoffs last night and their four games from [redacted for fear of jinxing it] and the city’s alive with sounds “Cubs Win! Cubs Win!” And I’m cheering for the Cubs, sure, and I’m happy for Cubs fans, obviously, but I’m not a Cubs fan and I can’t (and shouldn’t) own their enthusiasm like they do and I really, really wanted access to that same unbridled exultation. Who wouldn’t?! Then, as if by fate above, yesterday afternoon, it was announced that Sofia Coppola/Bill Murray joint Christmas venture percolating for a year is going to be a reality come December and I cued up the 30 second blip and a tuxedo-ed Bill Murray declared “Tonight will go down as the greatest night in history” and I felt myself swept away to a fantasyland I only permit myself to believe in on unbearably overcrowded el train rides. It is a fair, even-handed, noble adjustment of things, that while there is infection in disease and sorrow, there is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as A Sofia Coppola Film Starring Bill Murray.

Netflix, where it will be released this December, advises that Mr. Murray plays himself, concerned that no one will arrive for his big holiday special at The Carlyle Hotel, that ancient upper east side stronghold, on account of a New York snowstorm, only to have the magic of the season prove his fears unfounded as famous guests arrive to help put on a show. It’s an homage to the classic variety hours gone by, and God bless it. In this era where our talk show hosts are more determined than ever to turn their programs into hour long Youtube videos and even The Muppets, variety show purveying pioneers, are determined to stop being polite and start getting “real”, Monsieur Murray, he who can wink at the camera with such awe-inspiring earnestness and lavish entertainment with the deftest of touches, is here, it seems, to restore the faded title Master of Ceremonies its old world joie de vivre. I’m projecting, perhaps, wishing, hoping, pining, and yet…watch the clip. Tell me I’m wrong.

I haven’t had such a burst of {champagne cork popping emoji) from a teensy weensy trailer since, well, that itty bitty “Bling Ring” spot. A Very Murray Christmas looks like Nick the Lounge Singer crossed with Billy Mack but with a touch of class, an air of dignity, perhaps afforded by that apparent walk and talk with George Clooney, who I kinda want to pretend is something like a Sofia-imagined Dickens ghost. And maybe you think that Miley Cyrus should be the apparition, appearing to appear but not really, except that I’m so in the tank for Sofia that even the world’s foremost twerker merely made me contemplatively scratch my chin and think “I could totally see that working.” Granted, I’m a little heartbroken there was no sign of Kiki. But maybe Kiki had to film “Fargo.” Or maybe Kiki’s appearance will be a surprise. What’s Christmas without a surprise? Wait. What did you say? Jenny Lewis is going to be in this? *Nick faints.*

Over there. To the left. That's the coolest person alive. With Bill Murray. Totes Mcgoats.

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