Starring: Bill Murray, Melissa McCarthy, Naomi Watts
Director: Theodore Melfi
Running Time: 102 mins
St. Vincent is an American film about a young boy who, after moving into a new neighbourhood in Brooklyn, forms an unlikely bond with a grumpy and stingy old man who lives next door.
I was pleasantly surprised by how good this film was. I had relatively low expectations going in, but upon coming out, I felt hugely satisfied with the movie as a whole. It’s fantastically well-acted, very well-written, it has a consistent atmosphere of good comedy and light-heartedness coupled with drama and a heartwarming underlying message, which all accumulated into making this a hugely solid and very entertaining film.
I’ll start with what I thought was by far the best thing about this film: the performances. This is Bill Murray’s perfect role, and, whilst I feel that he’s been even better in other films in different roles, he was absolutely fantastic here as the angry old man who actually does have a heart deep down, being absolutely hilarious all the way through as well as thoroughly convincing as the character himself.
But it’s not just Murray’s central performance that made this film outstanding. Young star Jaeden Lieberher was fantastic; not as annoying a little kid as you’d normally expect, instead he was a lot of fun, whilst Naomi Watts, in a relatively minor role, still shone as the somewhat ironic voice of reason in this story.
Away from the performances, I’ve also got to praise Theodore Melfi’s writing. It’s a whole lot of fun: irresponsible, mad and stupid fun, and there are a whole lot of laughs all the way through, however the story also comes with some very heavy, but intriguing dramatic periods (although never too dramatic to drastically change the atmosphere of the film), as well as a genuinely heartwarming and happy underlying message about kindness and forgiveness, which never feels at all cheesy or annoyingly religious at any point, but is perfectly appropriate and fitting for the story.
Overall, this gets an 8.2, because along with a whole host of really strong performances, this film shone in its fantastic screenplay, intelligent comedy and consistently solid atmosphere.