Friday, October 24, 2014

St. Vincent: Movie Review


Predictability outweighs the comedy and drama of “St. Vincent”.
St. Vincent stars Bill Murray as Vincent, a man who on the surface appears to be anything but a saint. He spends his days drinking and gambling and grumbling throughout life. But it’s fair to say that there’s more to him than meets the eye and the son of his next door neighbor starts to see Vincent as a real-life, everyday saint. It’s an uplifting story with plenty of humour and drama alike, and it’s also tediously predictable. 2014

Directed by: Theodore Melfi

Screenplay by: Theodore Melfi

Starring: Bill Murray, Jaeden Lieberher and Melissa McCarthy

Bill Murray and Jaeden Lieberher in ST. VINCENT.
In the opening scenes of the movie, Vincent’s curmudgeonly ways are introduced and just as clearly his “saintly” behavior is shown. And then just as conveniently as everything else to come in the movie, young Oliver is new to a Catholic school where they’re currently studying saints and what makes a person a saint. The road map for exactly where the film is going is already drawn and the filmmakers follow it so closely as if they’re a precocious child determined to not color outside of the lines.

Getting to the end is enjoyable enough. Murray embraces his misanthropic persona and makes it okay for the audience to laugh at his abrasive and hedonistic attitude. Oliver is also a good age to be sidled with Vincent. He’s 11 – old enough to not get into serious trouble, old enough to know not to copy Vincent’s actions, but young enough that his single mother still needs an adult to watch over him.

Melissa McCarthy, Jaeden Lieberher and Naomi Watts in ST. VINCENT.
The best part of St. Vincent is Melissa McCarthy as Maggie, Oliver’s mother who has just moved away from her ex-husband and trying to get custody following their divorce. She provides a decent amount of humour, especially whenever she’s describing her ex-husband whom she doesn’t have kind words for, or even just interacting with Vincent who ups the crass quotient that McCarthy is usually game for. But here she plays Maggie much more subdued and provides the heart in the movie that is entirely selling itself as heartwarming. The simple drama with which Maggie goes about her day as a typical single mother earns her a lot of deserved sympathy.

Oliver is one of those too-good-to-be-true kids and Vincent is one of those too-bad-to-be-true adults, and together they’re going to teach each other a lot about life. The emotions which the film takes you through are all organic, no matter how plotted they are. The comedy also makes each plot point easier to get to. But St. Vincent is not as enjoyable as intended since they refused to color outside the lines.

Similar Titles:

Birdman (2014) - Flying away from the weight of ego, success and celebrity with humour, intelligence and ambition.

Pride (2014) - Cheering along with a film full of passion.

Big Eyes (2014) - Going against the grain, “Big Eyes” finds success in the intersection between honest emotion and deceitful comedy.

The Theory of Everything (2014) - The dramatic and turbulent life of Stephen Hawking.

The Judge (2014) - A stoic drama about fathers, sons and murder.

The Skeleton Twins (2014) - Establishing selfishness before their more interesting layers, the despondent skeleton twins are more lifeless than they should be.