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St. Vincent

St Vincent poster.jpgBill Murray has had a long, versatile career as an actor, and it’s probably only been in the last 10 years that he has really devoted his effort to more serious roles and becoming an Oscar worthy actor.

Murray plays Vincent Mackenna, a hard living, drunk, degenerate gambler that spends his days at the track dodging guys he owes money to.  He also spends time with a “lady of the night” Daka (Naomi Watts), who is pregnant and strips while having sex with Vincent to make ends meet.

Vincent’s life as far as we can tell has been this way for a long long time.  He’s sloppy, he’s lazy, he no longer (as far as we know) cares about life.  He just lives it day in and day out the same way.

Things change when a young boy Oliver, and his mother Maggie (Melissa McCarthy) move in next door.  The movers wreck his fence, his tree, and his car in the moving process, and at that time Maggie and Oliver realize they’re going to have to deal with this guy from here on out.  They’re really going to have to deal with him as Oliver gets locked out of his house one day, and Vincent is thrust in to watching over him.  Maggie works long hours at her new job, and with the recent move she hasn’t found anyone to watch over Oliver at night.  So logically she appoints Vincent to become his babysitter…

This is not a new plot device in a film.  The young boy who teaches the old man how to be human again, has been in all sorts of films….but it never really gets old.  It especially doesn’t get old when Murray does such a great job of playing such as sad sack bastard.  It’s the type of role that needs someone like Murray to make it really shine, and really to make the film shine.  You despise this type of character along the way, but can’t help feeling for him a little bit, especially when you see how his life has unfolded over the years.

There’s lot’s of hilarious moments, and of course sad moments as well.  It’s a well directed film, but it sort of just goes through the motions as you would expect from a film like this.  There’s nothing super surprising, but it is very well executed and that makes it an entertaining film to see.

Grade: B+