Movie Review: “St Vincent” – Saint Among Us

Written by Samah Ali December 04, 2014

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Bill Murray stars in a delightful tale that recognizes the saints among every day people. Playing a different role than usual, he brings a new dynamic to his legendary act with his witty humor lighting up the screen and single-handedly carrying “St Vincent”.

Vincent (Murray), a habitual, grumpy senior, avoids contact with people outside of his weekly appointments with his “lady of the night”, Daka (Naomi Watts). Interrupting his routine, he gets off on the wrong foot with his new neighbors Maggie (Melissa McCarthy) and Oliver (Jaeden Lieberher) Recently separated, Maggie and Oliver try to navigate through the new town as they rebuild their lives. With no friends in town, Vincent takes on the roll as Oliver’s babysitter and slowly breaks his exterior, exposing the caring man inside.

 “It’s going to be a long life.”

Lieberher’s debut role hits the ground running, capturing the fragility in a prepubescent boy in a pubescent school. Oliver’s intelligence is overshadowed by his naivety as he discovers what the world has to offer. Coming from a sheltered lifestyle with recently separated parents, his witnesses the strife that goes on in his mother’s life while spending time with Vincent. Spending time gambling, at bars, and mowing sand pits, Oliver sheds his youthful behaviour and becomes an aware adolescent who tries to restore happiness into Vincent’s life.Bringing joy, sadness, awkwardness, and inexperience to the young character, Lieberher appears to be more like Oliver then he recognizes. Oh, the days of adolescence.

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Acknowledging “St Vincent” poster, Vincent, Maggie and Daka as a trifecta, you would expect them to be the main characters. Although the film has a small cast, it’s disappointing to know that the characters of Maggie and Daka lack dimension and character qualities. With recognizable performances behind McCarthy and Watts, watching them act these poorly written characters is pitiful. The characters mean well and the actresses do a great job of portraying them, however the roles seem dry with no crazy back-stories or troubling pasts; a stressed, recently divorced mother and a struggling exotic dancer. The only interesting aspect of Daka is her baby bumb but it offers more comedic relief than character depth.

To make up for minimalistic characters, Vincent overpowers all with his overwhelming depth and history. As Oliver grows closer to Vincent, he teaches him life lessons about hard work and perseverance, qualities Vincent lacks after years of lost human communication. Oliver unravels lost memories revolving around Vincent’s military days, his charity, and commitment to his terminally sick wife, Sandy. Paying weekly visits to her group home and battling debt from the payments, Vincent slowly shows the tenderness of his heart that’s covered by the hard shell due to lost and suffrage. Murray warms hearts while hiding his and ultimately brings you to tears.

“I love you to the moon, Ms. Sandy.”

Even though two of the main characters lack intrigue, Lieberher and Murray pick up the slack and manage to make “St Vincent” a joyous tale about acknowledging the elderly and their accomplishments. A feel good story to watch on a Sunday afternoon but not powerful enough to move you to tears. A happy medium.

Rating: 6.5/10

St-Vincent-movie-poster

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About Samah Ali

Samah Ali

With a deep admiration for film, television, and music, Samah spends most of her free time expressing and sharing her love for the arts. Studying Creative Writing at Western University, she enjoys writing about film & music and shapes her passions with the latest movie or album available.

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  1. This movie moved me to tears at the end.

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