Golden Globes nominee profile: Bill Murray (‘On the Rocks’) could win again for another Sofia Coppola film

Bill Murray reaped his seventh Globes bid this year for the Apple TV+ film “On the Rocks,” which reunited him with writer-director Sofia Coppola with whom he first worked on 2003’s “Lost in Translation.” That role won him Best Comedy Actor at these awards and he stands out among this year’s Supporting Actor contenders with the most comedic performance.

He faces off against dramatic turns by Daniel Kaluuya (“Judas and the Black Messiah”), Sacha Baron Cohen (“The Trial of the Chicago 7”), Leslie Odom, Jr. (“One Night in Miami”), and Jared Leto (“The Little Things”). Cohen won for “Borat” and has five career nominations. Kaluuya was nominated for “Get Out.” Leto prevailed in this category for “Dallas Buyers Club” and went on to win the Oscar. Odom Jr. is a double nominee this year, with a second bid for Best Original Song.

SEE 2021 Golden Globes nominations list: Nominees for 78th annual ceremony

In “On the Rocks,” Murray stars as the wealthy Felix, a former art dealer who comes to his daughter Laura’s (Rashida Jones) assistance when she suspects her husband Dean (Marlon Wayans) may be having an affair. Though their amateur-sleuth hijinks start whimsically enough – Felix’s flashy, vintage red convertible has some trouble during a stake out – the time they spend together looking into Dean conjures up Felix’s own infidelities and the toll they took on Laura and her mother. Murray navigates the film’s emotional terrain masterfully exhibiting both his trademark dry wit and moving vulnerability.

Murray was first nominated at the Globes in 1985 for the smash hit “Ghostbusters” and contended in this category in 1999 for “Rushmore.” He was up for Comedy Actor for both “Hyde Park on Hudson” (2013) and “St. Vincent” (2015). He was a double nominee in that latter year as he was also in the running for the supporting actor award on the TV side for the HBO miniseries “Olive Kitteridge.”

Murray has received the lion’s share of acclaim and awards clamor for “On the Rocks,” earning a Critics Choice Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor and a host of regional critics citations. The HFPA’s love for legendary veterans could give Murray a leg up against his competition.

The Supporting Actor category often previews the eventual Oscar winner: Christian Bale (“The Fighter”), Christopher Plummer (“Beginners”), Christoph Waltz (“Django Unchained”), Leto, J.K. Simmons (“Whiplash”), Sam Rockwell (“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”), Mahershala Ali (“Green Book”), and Brad Pitt (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”).

This article is a part of Gold Derby’s “Golden Globes nominee profile” series spotlighting the 2021 contenders in film and TV.

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