A young boy whose parents just divorced finds an unlikely friend and mentor in the misanthropic, bawdy, hedonistic, war veteran who lives next door.
|Release Date||:||October 9, 2014|
|Production Company||:||The Weinstein Company, Crescendo Productions, Chernin Entertainment, Goldenlight Films|
|Production Countries||:||United States of America|
|Casts||:||Bill Murray, Melissa McCarthy, Naomi Watts, Chris O'Dowd, Terrence Howard, Jaeden Lieberher, Kimberly Quinn, Lenny Venito, Nate Corddry, Dario Barosso, Ann Dowd, Katharina Damm, Scott Adsit, Alyssa Ruland, Alexandra Fong, Greta Lee, Ron McLarty, Reg E. Cathey, Deirdre O'Connell, Melanie Nicholls-King, Portia, Maria-Christina Oliveras, Ray Iannicelli, Jeff Bowser, Frank Wood, Brenda Wehle, Orlagh Cassidy, Ron Bush|
|Plot Keywords||:||babysitter, friendship, neighbor, divorce, child of divorce|
St. Vincent, starring Bill Murray as Vincent, asks us to define the qualities of a saint, while we enjoy the decidedly unsaintly Vincent. He defines curmudgeon, a cranky old misanthrope unhappy with his life and ready to dress down practically anyone who talks to him. The film itself is an amusing character study with unanticipated turns.
But don't think you can write the script because Vincent and the motley crew of his life have surprises that do not fit the usual bitter old guy formula. The saving grace is the honesty Murray invests in the role, which requires him also to display caring characteristics not immediately apparent. That we are probably spying into the eccentric character of Bill Murray through Vincent is an added treat.
The catalyst for the clichéd curmudgeon turnaround is a new pre-teen next door neighbor, Oliver (Jaeden Lieberher), who is thrust on Vincent for after school babysitting by med-tech mom, Maggie (Melissa McCarthy). While the bonding is to be expected, Vincent and Oliver do a long dance before any saintly traits emerge. Yet Oliver learns what saints don't ordinarily do, like fight and gamble. As we learn, those aren't necessarily negatives.
Although Naomi Watts' Russian hooker is a bit over the top in beauty and heart of gold categories, she manages to project a simple love for Vincent, a symbol for everyone who loves Vincent even as rough as he is. Although Vincent could be loved for only his Vietnam experience, he does low-key, un-Mother -Teresa-like acts of kindness that could qualify him for sainthood.
That's the important theme of this tragicomedy: Being good, loved, and saintly are within the grasp of the most common among us, implying that imperfection is a constant of being human and maybe a bigger credential than piety when that sinfulness is transformed into good deeds.
St. Vincent is an entertaining film with a well-worn message, but Bill Murray, in his finest role since Lost in Translation, transforms it into holiness.