Bringing you honest reviews of recent releases
A young boy whose parents have just divorced finds an unlikely friend and mentor in the misanthropic, bawdy, hedonistic war veteran who lives next door.
Bill Murray – Vincent MacKenna
Melissa McCarthy – Maggie Bronstein
Jaeden Lieberher – Oliver Bronstein
Naomi Watts – Daka Paramova
St. Vincent has to be one of the most easy-viewing of movies I have ever sat through. The plot – simple. The script – also simple. The cast – witty. This movie is one of those ‘outsider to a family enters their lives and changes a few things’ type features. A story which although done many times before in various movies, seems to pass for entertaining. I honestly believe the success of St. Vincent lies in one thing only – the casting. This movie isn’t side-splittingly hilarious, but without the likes of McCarthy and Murray would have flopped miserably.
Hollywood hilarity Melissa McCarthy is on fine form as single mother Maggie. Although the actress can generally be seen being hilarious, she tones it right down for St. Vincent. Her performance is quite emotional in places as she portrays a struggling, overworked single mother trying to raise her son as best as she can. Until she moves nextdoor to an old man named Vin of course.
Then her situation becomes strangely worse..
Melissa is naturally funny. The woman knows how to deliver a line with comic precision, make the audience roar with laughter. But at the same time she is brilliant at ‘doing’ serious. Certain scenes in this movie had me watching in anticipation as I wondered if she’d drop a funny line during an emotional scenario. But she didn’t, and remained true to her character.
That’s the first time I’ve seen Naomi play a slut, let alone a Russian one. If I’m honest, her voice throughout this movie was bloody hilarious. Her opening scene sees her riding old Vin cowboy-style on his bed. Turns out the pair have a sexual relationship going on (as long as she gets paid).
Naomi is actually the funniest I’ve ever seen her. Ok, most of her roles in movies are deadly serious (The Impossible, Diana) so she rarely gets the opportunity to shine by creating laugh-out-loud moments, but here she cracks her career-long shell and brings a character to the screen who is so damn bitchy that she’s hilarious. Seeing the high maintenance pole dancer vacuuming the carpet in Vin’s house or bending over so low to look in the fridge to the point of flashing her entire under-carriage had me giggling away. Then there was the moment she puts a plate of food on the table for the old guy, and his cat hops up to nibble at it – Daka yells at the cat in such a broken English manner that she had me hooting with laughter.
Yes, Naomi Watts is very different in St.Vincent. So different that she excels in character portrayal, managing to be naturally entertaining and convincing at the same time. Top marks for her here.
Much of the dialogue between main characters is great. Melissa and Bill are the leading lights though, with plenty of comedy – and surprisingy – sad moments between them.
The script is well written and well played by the pair, especially the face-off style moments which radiate an air of sheer awkwardness between the miserable old man and struggling single mother. It’s certainly entertaining watching.
St.Vincent isn’t a bad little feature. The plot is all there, and it’s simple. Easy to follow. This movie isn’t one of the most life-changing things I’ve seen, I’ve seen much better. But for its very simple structure and story, you can’t go wrong. It’s entertaining.
Imagine a Saturday night at home. Everyone are out, you are alone. It’s dark, cozy. You fancy sticking a random film on to fill an hour or so. Bingo. Welcome to St.Vincent.