This week was the turn of last years release… St.Vincent. The movie stars Bill Murray as Vincent or Vin as he prefers, who is a grumpy old man who reluctantly babysits his new neighbour’s kid…who he likes to refer to as ’11 bucks an hour’….genius! Vincent is a character the feels like a combination of Clint Eastwood from Gran Torino mixed with Walter Matthau from Dennis the Menace. He got the kinda love/hate relationship that only comes with age and anger at the world. He loves his booze, his horse and his ladies of the night. He has mutual hate for people, and anyone he comes in contact with seems to feel the same about him. Ok…so I know what you are thinking, another ageing actor playing another grumpy old man role…and well…you are kinda right. The only thing different here is that the old man is Bill Murray, who…apart from the being a dick (in the movie)…is playing himself…in a way. So not to spoil anything I won’t go into that any further, apart from to say that this is one of Murray’s finest roles. It’s as if the role was written for him, they are perfect together! Once the movie explains why it is titled St.Vincent, you’ll see what a person like Bill Murray is to this role… to the film…to the world of comedy… St. Murray!…if may without being cheesy.
Ok enough of my man-crush on one of the coolest people around….
So if it hasn’t become clear between all the guy love, I absolutely love St.Vincent. It has the perfect recipe of five parts funny, two parts charming, a good helping of warming of the heart and just a smidge of heartbreak…which is all it takes believe me!
The movie starts with Vincent at rock bottom. He get kicked out of his favourite bar for being too drunk. He looses again at the race track getting in deep with his bookie. And to make matters worse, he slips and falls in his kitchen cracking his head against a press….pretty rough introduction I must admit. Rough, yet hilarious….and that is a theme that is spread throughout the movie. Now if the movie was just that, the misadventure of a down and out, I wouldn’t love it any less because those scenes are both brilliantly acted and skilfully written. But the film is so much more… So after waking up from the kitchen incident Vincent meets his new neighbour Maggie (Melissa Mc Carthy) and her son Oliver (Jaeden Lieberher), who can hold his own, unphased by the legend of Murray….the future is bright for this young fellow.
Back to the introduction….Maggie, is a single mom who has to work a lot, and after a series of events ending in Oliver staying in Vincent’s one day after school, Maggie asks Vincent to watch him…and so the real adventures or misadventures, depending on your outlook begin. The point of view of the film now transfers as the audience are not looking at Vincent themselves but through the eyes of Oliver. Vincent really doesn’t want to mentor Oliver, but after he get picked on by bullies, Vincent really does have any choice. It is this relationship that the whole film is based on, this pure and honest relationship. Vincent never tries to sugar coat anything, or be politically correct and never pulls his punches…in fact he teaches Oliver how to punch!
Even though the movie is mainly about the relationship between Vincent and Oliver, it doesn’t take away from the supporting cast who make the movie more entertaining. McCarthy, plays a more serious role here which is refreshing and she didn’t disappoint. Naomi Watts plays Daka, a pregnant stripper/lady of the night with a heavy middle Eastern accent that is so out-there its hilarious. Chris O’Dowd plays Oliver’s Catholic school teacher, Brother Geraghty. O’Dowd isn’t in the movie a lot, but when he is charming and witty as ever.
Now probably on to the most revelating aspect of the movie, St. Vincent was written, produced and directed by Theodore Melfi who was taking the helm for his first major film! As I mentioned earlier he modelled a fantastic script filled with brilliant dialogue and fascinating characters, which is all topped off by being beautifully shot! St. Vincent is throughly entertaining from beginning to end, including the credits…and thats all I say about that you’ll just have to stick around to find out what I mean. If Melfi has more movies like this in his locker, he will become one of the best directors and writers out there…I cannot wait for more!! One of the best movies of last year and I expect this will feature quite a bit in my weekly update. Truly brilliant!