(SPOILER WARNING!!! This article does contain spoilers, if you haven’t seen the movie, just see the first paragraph to be informed without spoilers!!!)
St. Vincent is a movie that was greatly acted by Bill Murray playing an unlikable grouchy old man to a likable old man who has vulnerabilities, even though the movie’s story had some flaws, it is a feel good movie to watch and laugh. Rating 4 out of 5 Stars.
Bill Murray will go down as a cinematic comedic genius when his career is all said and done. I remember the first movie I watched which he starred as Peter Venkman in Ghostbusters. I was a fan if the cartoon series already, so the movie really blew me away. The comedy was golden, and the action at the time was awesome, and Bill Murray was one of the main reasons for the success of that movie. He goes on to make some more memorable movies like Caddyshack, What About Bob? and Groundhog Day. Then he took on some serious roles which surprisingly boded well for him. Like Lost and Translation, which earned him an Oscar nomination, and playing Franklin D. Roosevelt in Hyde Park on the Hudson. He always has a great sense of humor, and one of my personal favorites is his cameo as himself in Zombieland. To me, that is one of the greatest cameos ever in a movie. As I said, Bill Murray will be up there with the great actors in Hollywood. Yet he still delivers, like St. Vincent. I will start with what I liked, to the so so, to what I didn’t like.
What I liked, if there is any reason to watch this movie, watch for the great acting by Bill Murray playing Vincent Mackenna. Murray really made himself unlikable in the beginning of this movie as a grumpy old man with a drinking and gambling problem. However, once he befriends his neighbor, Maggie Bronstein played by Melissa McCarthy, and her son Oliver Bronstein, played by Jaeden Lieberher, his character took a turn for the better. I mean when he was watching over Oliver, he wasn’t perfect, but he was real with Oliver when it comes to real life. They both had tremendous chemistry with one another and it was fun to watch them enjoy each other’s company. Vincent’s character reached his highest point when it shows that he is still taking care of his wife who is suffering from dementia, and placed in a nursing home. It shows that Vincent still has a heart, but he hides it well. His best acting point was when he suffered a stroke, and played a recovering stroke victim exceptionally. You almost believe that he really did suffered a stroke and working to get back to his normal self. Murray’s chemistry with other people are hilarious because he just tells it like it is which makes it hilarious. McCarthy taking on a serious role as Maggie really shows her acting chops, but was only a supporting minor under Murray which is a rarity with her acting. It was also interesting to see Vincent’s relationship with the Russian prostitute/stripper he is seeing, Daka played by Naomi Watts. Apparently they see each other often to a point he knocked her up, but instead of letting their relationship dwindle, they try to make it work in a weird trashy sort of way. Shows more why this Vincent character did have a lot of heart under that tough skin. He did have a gambling problem by always going to the racetrack and losing which leads to owing a bookie named Zucko, played by Terrence Howard (who always gets typecast as some type of gangster no matter the movie), which almost cost his life. Another actor that was hilarious to me was Chris O’Dowd playing Oliver’s Catholic school teacher, Brother Geraghty. He was hilarious being sarcastic about the Catholic religion, and the other religions which is funny, and not to a point where it was offensive to me. It was all in good taste which I really appreciated.
The so so, in the end it got a little too sappy for me, but it was the moment that made this a feel good movie. That was when Oliver made his school presentation of naming Vincent a saint. The crazy part is that Vincent did have his major flaws in becoming a saint, but through Oliver, he saw through his flaws to see a genuine good hearted person that made him a saint. It gives a good message about how nobody is perfect, and what really counts is how big your heart is, and Vincent does have a big heart. Even though that moment almost got killed when you see all the people Oliver has met through Vincent, like his people at the bar for example, were at the ceremony which to me was completely unnecessary. Oliver, Maggie, and Daka is appropriate, but that’s it, I’m surprised his bookie Zucko wasn’t there either.
What I didn’t like, the whole Zucko thing was a good angle to show Vincent’s gambling problem, but the movie didn’t resolve it. I mean he almost got killed because of his debt, but he suffered the stroke which made Zucko leave him alone, and that’s it. I mean it’s like the movie just decided to magically let it go. Like Zucko wouldn’t have found out that he was alive, and try to get his money? That major loophole was a big one that wasn’t filled. At least make something up, even if it is cheesy.
Overall, St. Vincent is a feel good movie that can touch you emotionally. I believe Bill Murray can get his second Oscar nomination for his role as Vincent, but definitely he could win the Golden Globe for Best actor in a Musical or Comedy. I guess sky is the limit for Bill Murray, and I’m happy for him!!! Final Rating 4 out of 5 Stars.