“Oh Bill Murray. A Hollywood icon. Never ceasing to surprise. Between all his quirky antics on screen and off, he’s a beloved icon. And again with the surprises in St Vincent.
I honestly had pretty low expectations. From the trailer, the film looked okay, but maybe a little awkward. It was questionable how funny I’d find it. But I kept hearing good things (even long shot awards talk), mostly around Murray. I’d assumed it was just because people love him so much and not necessarily a reflection of this film or his work in it. I was wrong. The movie was surprisingly very good, and Murray’s performance had some real skill and sides of him we haven’t seen before.
Murray plays Vincent, the crotchety old neighbor to single mom Maggie (an excellent and refreshingly grounded Melissa McCarthy) and her son Oliver (newcomer Jaeden Lieberher). Against her better judgement, Maggie hires Vincent to take care of Oliver after school. They get into all sorts of shenanigans, at the race track and bars and paling around “”lady of the night”” Daka (Naomi Watts). Yet, there’s depth to Vincent. I don’t really wanna give anything away, but there’s far more to him than the cranky old man surface.
The film had a lot of heart and humor. There were points where I felt really emotional and points where I was constantly letting out little chuckles. There was just something so real about it. Murray was phenomenal, and I kind of hope that long shot buzz comes thru for him. At the very least, he should be a lock for a Globe nomination given the comedy/drama split. I was also really impressed with McCarthy. I do adore her, but often times her shtick is a bit much. Playing the straight character works for her. She’s capable of forming a real connection with the audience.
I’d gone to an early (10 AM) show, and shared the auditorium with some guy in the back and an older gentleman on the other end of the first row. He came up to me afterwards commenting about how great the movie was. I told him I agreed and basically said everything I just repeated in the first paragraph about low expectations. So it’s good to know I’m not the only one who liked it. Sure, some of it may have been a lil contrived and borderline cheesy, but it worked. I completely understand why director Theodore Melfi worked so hard to obtain Murray for this film. He’s truly the heart and soul of this movie.
St Vincent – \m/ \m/ \m/ \n