St. Vincent

by | Dec 16, 2014 | 0 comments

A Film that Ends Up Being Well-Rounded and Enjoyable

Bill Murray’s charisma is incredibly powerful. His most recent film is led by his masterful skill, but there are many other players that also help add spice. St. Vincent wasn’t only an enjoyable film, but it was critically acceptable as well.

St. Vincent has a story that could easily have fallen into deep cheesiness, but it manages to hold aloft with a secure stability that I hadn’t expected. The story is about an old crabby veteran named Vincent (Bill Murray) whose only slightly positive relationship is with a pregnant prostitute called Daka (Naomi Watts) and whose financial situation is atrocious. Maggie (Melissa McCarthy in one of her more serious roles) is in the care of her son Oliver (newcomer Jaeden Lieberher) while she handles her divorce. Maggie and Oliver move into a new house and become Vincent’s new neighbors. Maggie works many hours in the hospital and so Oliver has to go to and back from school alone. On his first day of school (where he starts mid-term) he is left locked out of his house. Oliver asks to use Vincent’s phone, after a talk with Maggie, Vincent is convinced of looking after Oliver until Maggie gets home. On that afternoon Vincent and Oliver form a strange bond, and Vincent surprises himself by volunteering to babysit Oliver.

The story seems tacky enough: an old tough guy whose heart is softened by a child, but Theodore Melfi (who both wrote and directed the film) handles Vincent’s transition in a realistic and subtle way. There is no sudden epiphany. Plus having Bill Murray as Vincent role helps too, he simply is too good to make a mistake.

However, we mustn’t discredit the amazing cast with stellar Murray. McCarthy, Watts, and even Lieberher give first-rate performances. Melissa McCarthy, more commonly known for goofy roles given like Bridesmaids, The Heat, and Tammy takes a turn with a touching, motherly role that she plays splendidly. She doesn’t seem like ‘a character’ but more as a person who struggles to keep a smile on her face even as the world tries to bring her down. Watts on the other hand takes on a more comic role than usual, forget her dramatic performances from The Impossible, 21 Grams, and the recent Birdman, she has a lot of fun with Daka whom she gives a heavy Russian accent, but also doesn’t forget to leave detailed aspects of her desperation about prostitution. But the surprise was Jaeden Lieberher who feautured in his first film. Lieberher is adorable in the film, but he also handles his role valiantly so that he aptly gives us rushing flashbacks of elementary school worries and problems. His innocence proves to be believable enough to soften up anyone. He unveils himself carefully but with courage, and we all hope that he chooses his next projects as well as he did with St. Vincent; if so we could have a rising star on our hands.

The mix of the cast with Melfi’s intricate and bold storytelling is enough to elevate St. Vincent into a fight for remembrance and… maybe awards?

  • OVERALL MOVIE RATING 75% 75%

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What is your favorite Bill Murray movie? Let me know in the comments section.

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