St. Vincent – ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ DVD Review
What happened to all that Oscar nomination talk for Bill Murray we were hearing earlier? The film didn’t receive a single Oscar nomination, nothing for writing, directing or for any of the actors. I’m not overly surprised that the film itself was overlooked. Though I thought it was excellent, and a nice mix of drama, coming of age, dealing with your age, and comedy; that doesn’t really seem to be the Academy’s cup of tea. There wasn’t really anything about the story that would make it stand out as exceptional or different from the Academy’s point of view. It was a funny, very well told, and well acted film.
Vincent (Billy Murray), is a cranky old man who likes to drink, likes to bet on the horses, and likes to be left alone. His girlfriend Daka (Naomi Watts) is a Russian stripper who has been laid off from her strip club because she’s pregnant and “guys don’t want to pay and see the bump”. Vince is content in his little world but that world is disrupted as recently separated Maggie (Melissa McCarthy) moves in next door with her son Oliver (Jaeden Lieberher). Oliver is having a bit of trouble adapting to his new school and is being bullied by some of the other kids. On his first day they take his keys, wallet and phone so he cannot get into his home and he must call his mother from their neighbour’s house. Vincent who is short on money sees an opportunity and actually volunteers to babysit Oliver after school until Maggie can get home from work. As Vin fights off a group of kids bullying Oliver the old man softens a little and lets the young boy into his world. Oliver helps Vin around his house, at the track he helps him pick a winning trifecta, and helps him keep the money hidden from the loan sharks (Terrence Howard) he’s in debt to. Oliver accompanies Vin to a nursing home where he pretends to be a doctor and visits an elderly woman named Sandy. Vin takes her laundry home and washes it every week. At first I though Vin was conning the old woman somehow, but we learn that Sandy is his Alzheimer’s suffering wife. When Oliver’s teacher Brother Geraghty (Chris O’Dowd) gives the class an assignment: to find someone they know or know of in their own lives who has the qualities of a saint, Oliver picks Vincent, who has recently had a health scare.
The acting was excellent and really held the story together, keeping my interest throughout. Laughs and warmth were present in every scene. Vin teaches Oliver some street smarts, and both have fun doing it. Naomi Watts delivered a great dry, sarcastic wit, and Chris O’Dowd was an excellent addition to the cast as well. I was obviously impressed by Murray, who was a joy to watch, but I really enjoyed Melissa McCarthy. I’ve been hesitant of her films before, because they seem to be all the same. She has been typecast (in my mind) as the crude, overweight, slapstick/physical comedienne. Here, she was brilliant. Not crude, not slaptstick, but very very funny. I’d love to see her do more of this, because roles like this one have shown me (and hopefully others) that she really does have acting skill.
I would highly recommend St. Vincent, it was an excellent, funny and touching “feel good” film.
Bottom Line: I just realized that Chris O’Dowd was in Bridesmaids with Melissa McCarthy, and Naomi Watts was in both St. Vincent and Birdman.
Posted on 15-02-18, in 4.5 Star, Movie Reviews and tagged Bill Murray, Chris O'Dowd, Jaeden Lieberher, Kimberly Quinn, Melissa McCarthy, Naomi Watts, St. Vincent, Terrence Howard, Theodore Melfi. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.