One of the highpoints of the annual calendar

One of the highpoints of the annual calendar February 2, 2020


Coulda been the movie!
Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, exactly fifteen years ago today
(Wikimedia Commons public domain photo)


Yes!  Today is Palindrome Day!  It’s 02/02/2020 or o2o22020 — which, when read backwards, is 2020/02/02, or 02022020.  (Personally, I didn’t need reminding about Palindrome Day, but somebody did remind me this afternoon, coincidentally but precisely at 2:20 PM.)  Somewhere, I’m told, there’s even a huge football game being played to mark the occasion.  Is there any conceivable way that the final score could be 22 to 2?  That would be a nice touch.


But don’t let all of the hoopla about football and Palindrome Day distract you from the true significance of this day, for it was 2 February — the most important date in the year for meteorological science — that, some time back, inspired the absolute apex achievement of the cinematic art.  Here’s a humble little blog entry that I wrote, quite a number of years ago, in honor of that triumph of filmmaking:


Groundhog Day is the greatest movie ever made.

And I’m not the only one who thinks so:

“A Movie for All Time,” by Jonah Goldberg

Of course, that’s not denying that there are some other good ones out there, like Das Leben der Anderen and the original Manchurian Candidate.

But . . . well, they can’t all be winners.

Incidentally, I like The Manchurian Candidate even apart from the scene where Angela Lansbury’s character gets shot.  That part just makes it even better.

I can’t account for my wholly irrational dislike of Angela Lansbury.  By all accounts, she’s a very talented lady, and extraordinarily nice.  But there you have it.

I also enjoy the scene in Titanic where Leonardo DiCaprio’s character dies.  From my perspective, it’s the movie’s high point.

Does anybody know of a film in which Hugh Grant bites the dust?  That would complete a perfect trifecta, in my view.


Another hommage to Groundhog Day can be viewed here, in this short video clip made specifically for today:


Jeep® | “Groundhog Day” | Bill Murray | 02.02.2020


(Thanks to Doug Ealy for first bringing it to my attention.)


I practically have Groundhog Day memorized.  And, if I’m walking through a room where it’s playing, I really have to work to resist the temptation to sit down and watch it to the end.  (Candidly, though, unless powerfully obligated I usually make no effort at all to resist.)  I laugh all over again as if I’ve never seen it.  Plainly, I’m an addict.


But I can justify my addiction.  To me, Groundhog Day is the film equivalent of a Bildungsroman.  We watch the moral education of Phil Connors as he evolves from being an utterly selfish jerk through believing that he can get what he wants by faking goodness to actually becoming good.  And the movie is really, really funny.



Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!