Does it take a president to beat a president?
A look at whether in this awards season of Lincoln the just-released Hyde Park on Hudson can get Bill Murray elected an Oscar-winner:
And He Is Playing a President: To date, five actors have snagged nominations for playing the White House's main resident, the most recent being Frank Langella for Frost/Nixon. Murray's looking to become the first actor to receive a nod for playing Franklin D. Roosevelt.
And He Is Working the Room: Not exactly what you'd call a glad-hander, Murray nonetheless is doing press in all the right places, including a Q-and-A with Deadline.com, in which he admits, that, yeah, it stung to lose for Lost in Translation bid to Mystic River's Sean Penn.
And He Is Bill Murray: He's been very good in very unexpected ways for many years, and he inspires valentines like Deadspin's lovely, "Bill Murray Is Better Than the Oscars."
But, No, This Is Not Going to Be Murray's Year: For starters, he's playing the wrong president. Daniel Day-Lewis remains the prohibitive Best Actor favorite for Lincoln.
And He's Playing Opposite the Wrong King George VI: Two years after Colin Firth and The King's Speech ruled, no one seems all that excited about the royal (this time played by Samuel West) coming to America to visit FDR.
And He's Starring in the Wrong Film: There's a reason you didn't hear a thing about Hyde Park at the New York Critics Circle or National Board of Review awards; critics don't like the movie. Hyde Park's not even The Iron Lady, another panned biopic that still managed to garner Meryl Streep acclaim and the Oscar. Here's the New York Times on Murray, or rather, on what the movie did to Murray: "The actor strikes familiar poses…[but] his character remains vague, remote, more of a place holder among the rest of the period-correct production design."
And You Can Forget About Moonrise Kingdom, Too: Not the Wes Anderson movie itself as the art-house hit may well contend, but Murray's chances for an Oscar for it. He's not even in the discussion for that film.
Worth Noting: Per the oddsmakers, Laura Linney, who plays FDR's love interest, aka not his wife, has as good (or bad) a shot at winning Best Actress as Murray.