St. Vincent: Film Review

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This movie came up a ton of times during film festival season and obviously I had to see what all the buzz is about. I love Bill Murray and I think he is fantastic in this. This may be too schmaltzy and sentimental for some, but I thought it was adorable and yes, I ended up crying happy tears.

Bill is Vincent, a lonely, broke, obnoxious man who spends his days dodging people he owes money, gambling away what little money he does have and just grumbles through life. His life is changed when newly single mother Maggie (Melissa McCarthy) and her son Oliver (Jaeden Lieberher) move in next door. Maggie has to work all the time, so she pays Vincent to babysit for Oliver and the film basically follows their growing bond and how it changes them both for the better.

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Just from the synopsis of the movie, you know it will have a positive outcome but I just liked to watch the journey of each character. You soon learn that there is more to Vincent then meets the eye – his wife is in a home with Alzheimer’s disease for example. His character is more well-rounded than you expect from the beginning and I found it really interesting learning more.

This makes it sound like it is incredibly slow-moving but it is not. There is plenty of entertainment here because Murray is just hilarious and the bond between him and Oliver puts a smile on my face. The dialogue is snappy, witty and a mixture of funny and sad. One minute we can be laughing at their crazy dancing in a bar and the next, we are sad about his struggles to pay nursing home bills.

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The supporting cast were great – especially Naomi Watts as Daka, a pregnant Russian prostitute who stills hangs out with Vincent although he has no money. I have never seen Watts in such a role and she was so funny (although I’m not sure about the accent). Melissa is usually the one busting out the jokes in movies but she was the most serious – struggling to keep her head above water while dealing with a divorce. I was impressed with her acting. Chris O’Dowd also has a great little role as their Catholic schoolteacher.

Yes, the ending is sentimental but in a cute, uplifting way. I think it depends on your mood whether you welcome it or begrudge it. I enjoyed everything about this and I was so invested in the characters. Murray is excellent and I’m definitely going to keep an eye on newcomer Jaeden.

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