bill murray, st vincent, movie poster

Saturday Selections: St. Vincent (movie)

Happy Saturday Everyone!

Normally it would be a stretch to use the term charming to describe a movie about a drunken, foul-mouthed man who makes frequent use of the services of a prostitute, but St. Vincent is the exception and (as you may have guessed) is this week’s Saturday Selection.

About St. Vincent

bill murray, st vincent, movie posterVincent (Bill Murray) lives alone. His primary company is a pregnant hooker, Daka, and a bottle of whatever alcohol is handy. His main forms of entertainment (besides Daka) are going to the horse track and trying to talk his way out of paying his debt to his bookie. Vincent is the kind of guy you might cross the street to avoid. He’s NOT the guy you want your kid hanging out with.

But when your son, Oliver (Jaeden Liebherer), ends up losing his house keys to a bully at his new school and Vincent is your neighbor, your kid ends up at his place whether you like it or not. Vincent isn’t thrilled about his new role as babysitter, but he does enjoy the cash Oliver’s mom (Melissa McCarthy) pays him to watch Oliver. And Vincent certainly doesn’t let Oliver deter him from his usual daily routine (gambling, drinking, etc.)

As the movie progresses we learn what has driven Vincent to such low circumstances and that maybe he isn’t such a jerk after all. A bond develops between Oliver and Vincent, but just when you think Vincent might turn a corner and show his less jerky side, well, he screws up. In the end, the bond and the refusal of Oliver to give up on Vincent, brings the true Vincent to the surface…even if that true Vincent is a bit scruffy around the edges.

How Was it?

St. Vincent could have been just one long cliche and in some ways it is, but the whole film is done with such finesse that it doesn’t feel cliche. Bill Murray is (as always) fascinating to watch and, the more about his character, the more you want to sympathize with him. This could have easily turned to pitying Vincent, but the part is acted and written so well that you never reach that point of pity. In fact, you want to slap Vincent at the same time you want to hug him and say, “It’s going to be okay.”

Jaeden Liebherer who plays Oliver was perfect for the part, and although I normally can’t stand Melissa McCarthy’s sad attempts of “funny fat-lady,” she played the role of Oliver’s mom with an unexpected amount of sincerity.

There are a butt load of over-used phrases that can describe St. Vincent – heart-warming, charming (oh, I did use that), sweet, endearing, coming-of-age – but don’t let that steer you away from this movie. Yes, Vincent changes, but he’s still a crusty old man hanging out with a hooker, annoying his neighbor and relaxing with a joint and a glass of Scotch.

Have a great weekend everyone!

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TAMMIE PAINTER IS THE AUTHOR OF THE TRIALS OF HERCULES: BOOK ONE OF THE OSTERIA CHRONICLES AND AN ARTIST WHO DEDICATES HERSELF TO THE TEDIUM OF CREATING IMAGES WITH COLORED PENCILS.
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