Vincent is an old Vietnam vet whose stubbornly hedonistic ways have left him without money or a future. Things change when his new next-door neighbor's son, Oliver, needs a babysitter and Vince is willing enough for a fee. From that self-serving act, an unexpected friendship forms as Vincent and Oliver find so much of each other's needs through each other. As Vincent mentors Oliver in street survival and other worldly ways, Oliver begins to see more in the old man than just his foibles. When life takes a turn for the worse for Vincent, both them find the best in each other than no one around them suspects.Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (email@example.com)
Jack Nicholson was originally offered the role of Vincent; he turned it down but recommended Bill Murray. See more »
When Oliver is gathering the facts about Vincent in Viet Nam from those who knew him, he is told that Vincent was a "Sergeant Major". Then, he's told about Vincent saving the guys in his unit and being awarded a bronze star. However, when they show the picture of him getting his Star from President Lyndon B. Johnson, there are 2nd lieutenant bars on his collar. Also, born in 1946 and going into the army at 18, would make Vincent a maximum 23 yo when Johnson left office. No one can make Sergeant major in 5 years, not even in a war; though he could have gotten a field commission to 2nd lieutenant. See more »
So this Irish guy knocks on this lady's door and says, you know, "Have you got any, uh... Any, uh... work for me?" And she says, "Um, well, you now, as a matter of fact, you could paint the porch." 'Bout two hours later, the guy comes back and says, "I've finished, ma'am, but just for your information, it's not a porch, it's a BMW."
[bar patrons stunned]
See more »
McCarthy has a rare opportunity to impart warmth and heart - sure to impress even moviegoers who tend to avoid her comedies.
"St. Vincent" opens with a funny, clean joke that sets the tone but contrasts the edge of the darkly humorous ordeals in this semi-independent production, which gives Bill Murray a chance to once again fall into a fitting role that seems very much like he's playing himself (but with a slightly exaggerated deportment). The memorable one-liner segues into elderly Brooklyn man Vincent MacKenna (Bill Murray) having sex with pregnant prostitute Daka Parimova (Naomi Watts) before heading to the bank to negotiate the terms of his reverse mortgage. He's bitter, belligerent, and crass. He also smokes, drinks, gambles, can't stay out of debt, and lives alone with his cat Felix.
After driving home inebriated one night and accidentally injuring himself with a hammer before banging his head against the kitchen cabinets, Vincent wakes the following morning in a pool of his own blood. Irritably stumbling out onto his porch, he's introduced to new neighbor Maggie Bronstein (Melissa McCarthy) clamorously moving in next door. She's a single mother fleeing her cheating husband (Scott Adsit) before he can inevitably use his legal connections and knowledge to regain custody of their son, Oliver (Jaeden Lieberher). Although Vince has no interest in conversing with the woman ("I don't need to hear the whole story") or meeting the child, he quickly becomes a babysitter, intent on collecting $12 per hour as he irresponsibly carts the boy from the Mr. Wedge strip club to the horse track and finally to a bar, all while Maggie works long hours at the hospital, unaware of her son's inappropriate extracurricular activities.
As a tale of a most unlikely mentor (or a role model that requires some heavy polishing before receiving such a definition) tutoring a strikingly opposite apprentice, "St. Vincent" is a resounding success. Poignant material is surrounded by grumpiness, insensitivity, and a tormented soul crying out for redemption as the film draws parallels (some more subtle than others) to angels and saints, odd couple pairings, Abbott and Costello, and surrogate father influences. A bit of revenge fantasy (like a comedic "Gran Torino") and ample amounts of humor balance out the tragedy, which routinely arises from repetitiously poor decision-making, grief, and regret. But despite plenty of predicaments, the subject matter is genuine and moving.
Oliver is unusually intelligent, polite, and well adjusted, peculiarly cognizant of the unfairness of his scrawniness and the childhood bullying he attracts. Lieberher's performance is perfect against Murray's misanthropic churl, while McCarthy has a rare opportunity to impart warmth and heart as a relatable, realistic parent struggling to make ends meet - sure to impress even moviegoers who tend to avoid her comedies. Even Watts dons a Russian accent and embodies an atypical persona. There's a notable and welcome depth to the players that is unexpected from this assemblage and premise. And though the film is a touch overlong and formulaically manipulative at times, the characters are consistently amusing and the intent is a crowd-pleasing, feel-good event that is bound to win over audiences, even if they weren't expecting so much drama amidst classic Bill Murray wisecracks.
31 of 45 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this