No Easy Gait

'Broken Flowers' & 'March of the Penguins'

Bill Murray was the first movie comedian since W. C. Fields to make cold contempt hip and attractive. For both performers the world was enemy. Fields squinted at it suspiciously but Murray’s gaze never concealed its open contempt. The Murray stare said, “Yes, if you feel you have just made an utter and eternal ass of yourself, trust that intuition completely.”

Fields folded in on himself like a cardsharp checking the aces up his...

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About the Author

Richard Alleva has been reviewing movies for Commonweal since 1990.