Quirky Yet Unconventional
St. Vincent (2014)
A Review By Ben Hunter
4½ Out Of 5 Stars
GET TO THE POINT BEN!
A quirky story with quirky characters and a quirky turn of events, so quirky you’ll feel good about yourself in the end!
Broken and beaten by the dilemma delivered for quite some time now, leaving everything but his spirits in fragmentary remains, Vincent MacKenna (Bill Murrary) has established a working remains of such fragments. As a retired Vietnam veteran, Vincent lives in underneath and around the chaos of condition in his apartment with his beautiful white cat Felix.
Appearing despondent from observation, one could look otherwise as part of his routine is to do the laundry for his wife who has Alzheimer’s. He visits her nursing home and is able to perform such a task only because he pretends to be a doctor. This is a priority of his. The bars and race track and acquaintances all know Vincent to be a good man who’s just been dealt a bad hand of cards and is playing such hand as best he can. He’s a regular customer of the pregnant, Russian prostitute Daka, quirkily characterized by Naomi Watts. He smokes, he drinks, and he’s down on his luck. This however gets him into trouble with a loan shark, surprisingly played by Terrence Howard who I can’t believe has taken such a route of character choices in his career as of late, and not to mention getting behind on nursing home payments for his wife.
The crucible stirs a little as Vincent meets Maggie (Melissa McCarthy) a single mother of her 12 year-old son Oliver (Jaeden Lieberher), whom Maggie is in a custody battle over with her ex-husband. After an off the wall, yet slightly emotional greeting of events that bring the parties together, Vincent babysits Oliver after school. From learning that Oliver has been bullied in school, Vincent teaches Oliver how to defend himself. He instills the lessons needed that younger males need from older ones. The two become friends.
I really enjoyed seeing the relationship between Vincent & Oliver unfold. It makes me sad to see a child without a father and not receiving what he or she needs. Vincent’s unconventional manner was a great Hollywood conventional manner to relay such events for me to experience. There were a lot of quirky characters like Daka (Watts) and Brother Geraghty (Chris O’Dowd who I enjoyed experiencing). All who contributed to a great story.
Bill Murray, in my opinion, really captured the heart of what this kind of person would be like. A man who’s depressed but has found some kind of functionality to make some kind of sense and purpose in his life; to try to cope with the loss, guilt, hurt, and all the pain that comes along with slowly loosing a loved one. Not to mention the mental trauma that could’ve occurred with returning from the war after serving in the military. As unconventional as he may have been, I felt for Vincent, and I wanted him to succeed. Especially after seeing the look on his face in that climatic ending! Great character development! I was definitely on the side of our hero!
Check this one out and see how this man at the bottom was made a saint at the top!
Dramedy, 102 Minutes, PG-13
Written & Directed by: Theodore Melfi
Cast: Bill Murray, Melissa McCarthy, Naomi Watts, Chris O’Dowd, Jaeden Lieberher, & Terrence Howard