While many consider Groundhog Day to be an annual celebration to the hilarious and distinguished career of Bill Murray, the Toronto International Film Festival officially declared September 5th as “Bill Murray Day,” and the fest and its attendees paid tribute to the comedian with a retrospective of his work (including screenings of Ghostbusters and Stripes), a Q&A session, and the world premiere of Murray’s latest film St. Vincent with Melissa McCarthy.
A sudden burst of heavy rain attempted to mar “Bill Murray Day” in the Canadian city as hundreds of fans became soaked, but Murray himself wasn’t going to let some wet weather ruin the occasion as he faced the downpour head on, drenching his tan khakis before he made his way down the red carpet. At some point, Murray was handed a plastic gold crown and a sash that read “Bill Murray Day,” which the actor wore proudly on his way into the Princess of Wales Theatre. St. Vincent co-star Chris O’Dowd also marked the occasion by wearing a Bill Murray T-shirt on the TIFF red carpet.
Earlier on “Bill Murray Day” during the Q&A, someone asked the minor league baseball team owner what film he would watch if thrown into a Groundhog’s Day-esque situation where he was locked in a room with the same movie on loop. Murray picked both Francois Truffaut’s comedy Small Change and Roberto Benigni’s Johnny Stecchino. Murray arrived at the Q&A session wearing a grey beret and reportedly sang Prince’s “Raspberry Beret” as he took the stage.
As the credits rolled on the premiere of St. Vincent, which marked the end of “Bill Murray Day,” the audience gave the actor a standing ovation. St. Vincent will arrive in theatres via the Weinstein Company on October 24th.