Bill Murray Delivers Amazing Speech to Sofia Coppola

Amid the scandalous breakups, bad behavior, and endless interest in spoiled housewives behaving like jackasses on television, it's refreshing to come across a celebrity story that actually makes me feel like a better person for having read it.

I'm talking, of course, about Charlie Sheen reportedly going on one hell of a porn star bender in Vegas last weekend.

I kid, I kid. No, I'm referring to Bill Murray's speech at the National Board of Review Awards earlier this week. Murray introduced Sofia Coppola, his director in the amazing Lost in Translation. Coppola was receiving a Special Filmmaking Achievement Award for writing, producing and directing Somewhere, and Murray's speech was at turns heartfelt, hilarious, and downright awesome.

Here are some excerpts:


But why do you give [the award] to Sofia Coppola? Why? Because you want to encourage her, I think. I think that's the real reason.


You give them an award because they need to be encouraged. You look around this room and you can look around the world of film, and you can see people that had great success early in their career. Some earned it, some were lucky, some got it, but at a certain point they live life. They get into life, like Sofia has gotten into life.


So why do you encourage these people? Because now she's had this success, she's had this work, she has this life, she has this family, she has this thing going, and now is when people like you have chosen well to say, 'Let's give this person another boost, let's give this person another boost to say keep going, because now life will come to you hard, like it's come to everyone that's lived long enough. It comes hard and it gets in the way of your career; it stops your career, it stunts your life — not necessarily your life, but it definitely will make your career go left.


So we'll give her a boost to say, go on, you've made it this far, push her out into the deep water, push her out into bigger and deeper films, more and more films. She has a beautiful eye. She has great taste in the people she chooses to work with. She's a kind and thoughtful director and editor and producer. She's all the things that we hoped we could be when we were like this.

You can read the speech in its entirety here, and you should, because these bits don't quite capture it. (Especially the part where he eats a Red Hot candy to limit himself to two minutes.)

I love the way he framed this, acknowledging Coppola's unusual background while praising her for the hard work she's done. I love how in an industry full of shit awards that are based on box office numbers, he offered her something truly meaningful. I love the quote about pushing her out into the deep water.

Kudos to Mr. Murray for being such a rare gem in Hollywood.
What did you think of his speech?

Image via Wikipedia

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