This Week in New York Insider's Guide to Arts & Culture in New York City Since 2001

29Jan/12

CITI POND WINTER FILM FESTIVAL: GROUNDHOG DAY

Bill Murray stars as a cynical weatherman reliving day over and over until he gets it right in GROUNDHOG DAY

GROUNDHOG DAY (Harold Ramis, 1993)
Bryant Park
West 40th to 42nd Sts. between Fifth & Sixth Aves.
Monday, January 30, free, 7:30
Series continues through February 13
www.bryantpark.org/things-to-do/pond.html

“Well, what if there is no tomorrow?” asks weatherman Phil Connors in Groundhog Day. “There wasn’t one today.” Bill Murray gives one of his most nuanced performances in the 1993 comedy, ably directed by his Stripes cohort, SCTV alum Harold Ramis. Murray stars as cynical, smarmy, mean-spirited meteorologist Phil Connors, who has been sent by his local TV station to Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, to cover the annual Groundhog Day festivities and report on whether Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow. He is joined by segment producer Rita (a radiant Andie MacDowell) and cameraman Larry (the always funny Chris Elliott), who find him to be a pompous ass. But just like Punxsutawney Phil comes out of his hole every February 2, Phil Connors is soon getting out of bed reexperiencing the same exact day, given the chance over and over to change, for better or worse. Besides being downright hysterical, Groundhog Day has a lot of heart, making it the kind of movie you can watch, well, over and over again, still pulling each time for Connors to do the right thing and become a worthwhile human being. It seems that Murray does some of his best work when paired with a small, furry creature, like when he desperately tried to catch and kill a too-smart gopher in Caddyshack. Groundhog Day is screening for free on January 30 at the second annual Citi Pond Winter Film Festival in Bryant Park, which continues February 6 with Edward Scissorhands and February 13 with the animated favorite Lady and the Tramp.

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