When he's singing and when he's not, Bill Murray hits all the right notes in A Very Murray Christmas, the Sofia Coppola-directed holiday special that arrived on Netflix this morning.
The self-referential premise is that a massive blizzard has put the kibosh on Murray's planned TV Christmas special, leaving him stranded in the bar of New York City's Carlyle Hotel. Offbeat and unexpectedly poignant, A Very Murray Christmas feels more than a little like a long-lost sequel to Lost in Translation. Murray's ample quirky charms are on full display throughout the hour-long film (when aren't they on full display?), but the biggest delights are to be discovered in the talents of the supporting cast, a formidable show business brain trust.
In what's probably the single most glorious sequence in the entire special, Maya Rudolph appears as an unnamed, white fur-clad diva who puts aside her drink, a "soiled kimono," to belt a stunning version of Darlene Love's "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)."
Later, after merrily dueting with Murray on "Sleigh Ride," Miley Cyrus treats us to a stripped-down performance of "Silent Night" atop Paul Schaffer's piano. Reminder: Miley can really, really sing.
Also of note is Rilo Kiley frontwoman (and briefly rumored Murray love interest) Jenny Lewis' turn as the waitress who lends her lovely voice to what's perhaps the least-upsetting rendition yet of "Baby, It's Cold Outside." Our host deftly defuses the creepy subtext of the most date rape-y Christmas song on record by graciously placing her hands in his armpits for warmth. Chivalry's not dead!
This is to say nothing of Rashida Jones, Chris Rock, George Clooney, and more celebrity manifestations of holiday cheer.
Cue up A Very Murray Christmas to play on repeat and let Bill and friends be your yule log this year.
Molly Fitzpatrick is senior editor of Fusion's Pop & Culture section. Her interests include movies about movies, TV shows about TV shows, and movies about TV shows, but not so much TV shows about movies.