In what is easily Bill Murray’s best singing performance since he gutted out Roxy Music’s “More Than This” at karaoke in Lost in Translation, the beloved actor harmonizes along with Bob Dylan‘s classic “Shelter From the Storm” in the new film St. Vincent. In this touching long-shot, Murray immerses himself into his character right down to the camo shorts and Walkmen strapped to his chest, listening to the Blood on the Tracks favorite while watering his small potted plant (which looks dead already) with a hose.
In the film, Murray portrays a curmudgeonly military vet who forms a friendship with a 12-year-old boy in what’s been hailed as another top-notch and potential Oscar-worthy performance. The movie initially premiered as the closing festivities of “Bill Murray Day” – September 5th – at the Toronto International Film Festival and will open in select theaters this Friday before opening nationwide on October 24th.
Even more incredible than Murray’s Dylan sing-along is the story behind how first-time director Ted Melfi convinced the actor to appear in the film. As Melfi told the Wall Street Journal, Murray doesn’t have an agent, publicist or manager, so the only way of pitching a script to the actor is by calling an 1-800 number. After finally getting on Murray’s radar, an attorney for the actor requested Melfi send a one-page letter to Murray’s various residences across the U.S. The whole odyssey Melfi had to endure in order to cast Murray captures the uniqueness of one of our most cherished actors.