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Review: St Vincent

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‘St Vincent’ is a movie based on the bonding of two unlikely and unfortunate souls, looking for a break. The story is very similar to the animated Disney Pixar movie ‘Up’ where the relationship between a nerd adolescent and a grumpy old man comes to exist from a strange act of fate. A slow burning and simple storyline following the lives of Vincent MacKenna played by Bill Murray and Maggie Bronstein (Melissa McCarthy) and her son  Oliver Bronstein (Jaeden Lieberher).

Murray’s character Vincent is a cold, lazy, betting addict, contempt with living a mediocre and cynical life. Although his situation is bad, instead of feeling sympathetic towards Vin, his scornful demeanour is comical creating a irresistible likability towards the character. After an unpleasant bank trip, where he finds out his bank account is overdrawn, his new neighbours manage to break his fence, thus starting the unlikely relationship between Vin, Oliver and his single parent mother Maggie.

As the movie unfolds we get to know Maggie as the overworked protective mother and her son Oliver a smart but timid student lacking a father figure. Due to Maggie’s overtime shifts at the hospital and Oliver’s keys being stolen by bullies at school his only option is to wait at Vin’s house until his mother arrives home. ‘St Vincent’ is a very good movie and will have the audience laughing throughout. Pain is a theme within the movie and as we get to know characters, we understand the multiple layers of pain which shape them.

The backdrop of the story creates a real closeness and intimacy towards the characters. The bar, the school, the race track all seem like places that build a sense of familiarity with the characters. It’s a human story in its essence and each character represents milestones in life, whether it’s fitting in at new school, working overtime and caring for a child or dealing with financial instability.

The film has a Christmas undertone as well and watching Murray play Vincent, brings flashbacks of the character Francis Xavier Cross, he played in the 1988 ‘Scrooged’. Now a lot older and slower, ‘St Vincent’ plays on the same ideas, but instead of ghosts coming to save Murray’s character, this time around it’s in the form of a mother and son. Even the importance of saints in the movie, makes a certain popular jolly person come to mind in this festive season.

‘St Vincent’ may not be the greatest or most original story but it is sure to bring a few laughs and keep you interested.  Its real strength lies in its ability to create a familiarity with audience and its characters and although this story may not relate to most, sympathy, enjoyment and contentment will definitely be felt whilst watching ‘St Vincent’.


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