Saturday, November 1, 2014

Movie Review - St. Vincent

I'll skip the details - go see this movie. 

Bill Murray is one of the more talented actors of our time. His comedy is so well known far beyond just his days on SNL, Caddy Shack, and the Wes Anderson films Everyone saw his serious side in "Lost in Translation" (for which he received a Best Actor nomination from the Academy). Melissa McCarthy is brilliant. And the new kid on the block - literally - Jaeden Lieberher - is so ungodly talented for his age, you will see him again. Add to that cast Naomi Watts, albeit with a Swedish accent, and you are off and running. Oh, and I almost forgot Chris O'Dowd as Brother Geraghty.

Seeing the trailers of St. Vincent, one would think the story full of cliches and throw away lines. I also feared that this would be one of those films where the entire entertainment and best part of the story was in the trailer and the rest would be a disappointment - not so. The screen play is well written, the film well cast (need I say more on that subject), the story line humorous, heartfelt, uplifting, and always a little surprising yet not hampered by useless heartstrings or touchy feely moments (that make one want to throw popcorn at the screen and shout "Seriously?").

Murray plays Vincent, a down on his luck hard drinking elderly Brooklyn man (the role must have been written for Murray - he could have been able to play it without a script). McCarthy plays Maggie, who recently separated from her husband, moves in next door to Vincent with her young son, Oliver (played by Lieberher). No spoiler here if you have seen the trailers - Maggie is a cath lab tech who has to work long hours and Vincent, through a series of events, ends up taking care of Oliver. 

McCarthy plays a more serious role as a working mother trying to do the best for her son, balancing a full time job and motherhood. Watts plays a pregnant Swedish pole dancer (yes I could not make that one up). The story is a combination of each of the characters trying to find their way: Maggie as a new single mom, Vincent going through some rough times, Watts dealing with an unwanted pregnancy, and Oliver trying to make sense of it all as his parents go through a divorce, he is thrown into a new school, and Vincent introduces him to a world he has never seen.

It is Oliver, the quiet scrawny little one, who ties it all together and his presence puts it all in perspective. The New York Times in her infinite ability to pee on any decent film out of pure arrogance, says, "A big, sloppy wet kiss of a movie about an old grouch, a sweet kid and their odd-couple friendship. . ." Bah humbug to them. What they fail to acknowledge is that the story is well written, well cast, entertaining, and not necessarily what one expects. 

Oh, and when the movie ends - stay seated for the credits. Just trust me.

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