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ST. VINCENT (2014) ****

Bill Murray plays a grouchy old guy named Vincent who lives next door to a single mother (Melissa McCarthy) who has to work long hours to make ends meet. He winds up babysitting her son (Jaeden Lieberher), which is a fancy way of saying Vincent takes him to play the ponies a lot. Even though Vincent is a mean old bastard, the kid winds up seeing a softer side to him, and they eventually bond and become best buddies.

St. Vincent kind of came out of nowhere. I didn’t know much about it and only watched it because I’m a die-hard Bill Murray fan. As it turns out, it features one of his all-time best performances, which is really saying something. Most comedic actors try to find “dramatic” roles where they can prove to the world they can act. Murray instead has made a niche of starring in comedies that have ripe dramatic possibilities.

Vincent is one of his most memorable creations yet. I don’t want to ruin anything about the film because Vincent’s subtle transformation is one of the many joys of the movie. He plays things on many different layers and his relationship with the kid makes the flick feel like a good companion piece to Rushmore.

Part of the reason why it took me a while to get around to seeing this was Melissa McCarthy. I can’t stand the annoying persona that she has built up for herself. However, in St. Vincent, she proves that she can be very likeable and a strong dramatic presence. Hopefully once she gets all the buffoonery out of her system, she will enjoy a long career has a dramatic actress because she certainly shows here that she has the chops to pull it off.

The other performance worth mentioning is Naomi Watts, who plays Vincent’s pregnant Russian stripper girlfriend. Just seeing her work a stripper pole while sporting a baby bump is worth the price of admission. With her performance in both this and Movie 43, she’s showing the world she has what it takes to be a hilarious comedienne.

Murray of course gets the best line of the movie when he tells McCarthy: “I’m showing him how the world works. You work, you get paid, you drink!”

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( 1 comment — Comment )
darksteel6
Jul. 13th, 2015 10:52 pm (UTC)
Strongly disagree on McCarthy, I don't think she's annoying at all, I think she's hilarious(she was really good in Spy)

Wasn't really big on this film, I found it very forgettable.
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