“St. Vincent,” written and directed by Theodore Melfi, was made into a masterpiece by the cast, largely due to Bill Murray’s lead role as none other than Vincent himself.
The film provides a look into the life of two characters, Vincent and his new neighbor Oliver (Jaeden Lieberher).
Oliver is a fairly young boy whose parents recently gotten divorced. The divorce leads to Oliver’s placement into a new neighborhood and a new private school. Because his mom (Melissa McCarthy) has to work late to sustain their new Brooklyn home, Oliver becomes caught up hanging out with his older neighbor.
At first, Vincent seems to be an old, grumpy drunk who is perfectly content living a life of solitude with only his cat by his side. Despite this, Vincent comes to be much more than what he seems as the movie moves along. Even though he may still be old, grumpy and, more often than not, drunk, Vincent is also a war hero who never fails to put the needs of others before himself.
The audience soon learns he has a wife, despite his aging and fairly creepy old-man bachelor lifestyle that consists of mainly himself, booze and the so-called “lady of the night” (Naomi Watts).
He lives this way because his long time wife has been in a top of the line nursing home for the past eight years where, every week, Vincent visits her even knowing fully well she will have no recollection of who he is due to her battle with Alzheimer’s disease.
All of these things about Vincent, things most people don’t see, lead Oliver to see him in a different light than most do. Instead of seeing him as a washed-up, pathetic old man, Oliver sees him as a saint.
Viewing him the way he does, Oliver softens up the old man. The sentimentality of the film is a bit cliché in thought, but there is no way the ideas and concepts of the film could have been portrayed any better than they were.
Murray’s performance throughout the film ultimately made the movie out to be what it was. He managed to ensure the film wasn’t too sappy, while simultaneously hitting the emotional side of almost everyone in the audience.
That being said, this comedy wasn’t truly too comical. There were moments where you would burst out in laughter, but more often than not you had to resist the urge to cry.
The story is so average that it’s relatable to pretty much everyone. Because the storyline is as ordinary as it is, it’s easy to get caught up in the character’s issues. We all know someone with Alzheimer’s, someone who has died, someone struggling with alcoholism, someone who is bullied, someone who is or was going through the lengthy process of divorce or even someone who is judged as someone they aren’t.
The movie itself may not be too far out of the ordinary, but the way in which Murray plays his part perfectly to key sets this film aside from others. His lead role is by far what makes the film deserving of a five star rating.