St. Vincent is a comedy/drama film which Stars Bill Murray, Melissa McCarthy, Naomi Watts, Chris O’Dowd and Jaeden Lieberher. It comes directed by Theodore Melfi who also happens to have written the entire screenplay for St. Vincent, which apart from a few short films, this is his first big feature length film. St. Vincent follows the character of Vincent (Bill Murray) who is this miserable old guy who lives alone in his home and struggles with money because of his gambling and drinking issues. His life starts to get better though when his new neighbours arrive and he befriends Oliver (the kid next door) and all of a sudden things start looking up.
The plot of St. Vincent is fairly solid and I didn’t really have any issues with the screenplay or even the directing of the film. We get a fairly solid storyline as we follow Vincent throughout the film and we learn quite a lot about his character, his past life, his present and his overall emotional state. It’s an interesting film to watch when you look at it this way because I often like watching films where characters have a lot of depth to them and Vincent definitely has that. I don’t want to go into the particulars regarding his character because they would be kind of spoilers, but by the end of the film I felt I had known this person who seemed mean at first quite well and I actually didn’t mind Vincent at all, even for all his faults, he’s alright really.
Some of the other characters which weren’t Vincent were good as well. Oliver who is the child in the story that Vincent takes care of is fairly well developed and we see that he also has his struggles in his own world and especially at school with bullies. When Oliver is out with Vincent the two bounce off each other well and you can see they are both learning from each other. There are some moving scenes between the two such as when they visit the racetrack together, or when Vincent was teaching Oliver how to defend himself in a fight. There’s a lot of touching moments here and there in St. Vincent.
Acting wise Bill Murray is the stand out character all the way through in this film, honestly he pretty much makes the film a good experience. While my favourite Bill Murray movie is still Lost In Translation (2003), his performance in St. Vincent is something special and mixed in with the well written character that he had, it allowed Bill Murray a lot to work with. Jaeden Lieberher who plays Oliver was also good in his role as the kid who needed Vincent’s care and both Bill Murray and Jaeden Lieberher were really great together and a joy to watch.
Other actors though didn’t stand out to me so much and I think are part of what I think weighs down the film a bit. I didn’t really enjoy Chris O’Dowd in this film who played Brother Geraghty who was Oliver’s school teacher, he just seems so smiley and kind of acting to a different tone that the movie was not in and to me didn’t fit well into the world of St. Vincent. I also didn’t really enjoy Melissa McCarthy as Maggie who is Oliver’s mother, she’s okay but not really great or near Bill Murray’s level. Naomi Watts was good though and I didn’t even recognise her in the film, she was so different to how I’m used to seeing her so I guess she pulled off her character quite well because I had no idea who the actress was until I checked IMDB.
When I was first going in to see this movie, I saw Bill Murray and Melissa McCarthy in the trailer and thought I was going in to see something that was a comedy, but actually I’d say that St. Vincent is more of a drama first and comedy second. It’s got some jokes here and there, but it’s not something I would say is super funny even though at times it is. I liked the drama aspect of the film though and because of the strong depth with the main character I felt it helped elevate the film to be something better than I thought it would be. I was explaining to a friend what happens in St. Vincent after I saw it and was telling them about how it was about Bill Murray as this grumpy old guy who lives by himself and has to care for this kid and they asked,”so it’s like Gran Torino?” and I realised it is kind of like it, if Gran Torino happened in a safe neighbourhood and everyone was super nice…
Just to once again comment on the directing, it’s actually pretty good and for a first big feature film from Theodore Melfi, I’d say it’s a fairly good effort. The pacing of the film is solid all the way through and the story doesn’t seem rushed at all to me, it all plays out slowly, but in an entertaining way that you don’t get bored watching St. Vincent. Vincent is an interesting character and some of the character’s that live in and around Vincent are interesting as well.
Overall I found that I enjoyed watching St. Vincent and the performance from Bill Murray as Vincent may possibly get some award attention once award season starts up early next year. I’m not sure if St. Vincent will be winning many awards, but I can see Bill Murray possibly getting nominated and I’m fairly sure he has good chances of it. Don’t go in expecting a super funny comedy because that’s not what you get, it’s a good drama with some interesting characters and some laughs here and there. When the movie ended and the credits started rolling I had a smile on my face and I wasn’t sure exactly why, but I can only say I enjoyed what I saw at the end there.