St. Vincent (Bill Murray) teaches Oliver (Jaeden Lieberher) about life: 'You work

St. Vincent (Bill Murray) teaches Oliver (Jaeden Lieberher) about life: 'You work

Reel Reviews: When the Saint comes stumbling in

St. Vincent, starring Bill Murray, has great characters and a predictable plot.

  • Nov. 9, 2014 12:00 p.m.

Recently divorced Maggie (Melissa McCarthy) and her young son Oliver (Jaeden Lieberher) move to Brooklyn to start a new life. When her work keeps her late everyday, Oliver begins spending time with an unlikely nanny, the miserable drunken curmudgeon Vincent (Bill Murray), who lives next door.

During the time spent with Vincent and his only friend, a pregnant Russian prostitute named Daka (Naomi Watts), Oliver discovers there are reasons for Vincent’s behaviour that no one else can see and that Vincent is more like a saint than any of the so-called normal people in his life.

We say, “St. Vincent has great characters and a predictable plot.”

TAYLOR: This is a nice, feel good, tidy little picture, but it’s not breaking any new ground. The story clips along, has the obligatory disaster at the three quarter mark and everything works out in the end. Surprise! However, the performances, particularly by the leads, are strong enough, with interesting characters to keep us entertained.

HOWE: This is the first time that I can truly say that I have enjoyed watching McCarthy in a movie. Gone is the loud, obnoxious and downright foul-mouthed role she normally plays, showing this time out that she has some acting talent.

Murray plied his usual style of character, maybe not as crazy as he once was, but he still is very effective in this role. It looks like we could have a future star in the making with young Lieberher.

TAYLOR: I agree, McCarthy can act and it was nice to see her portray someone I could like. I also agree that Murray can reign it in and give us multiple dimensions. His Vincent might have been a little on the nose, which is probably the result of the writing, as Murray’s performance was not nearly as cartoonish as it usually is. I can’t say the same for the usually awesome Naomi Watts. The physicality of her pregnancy was not particularly believable and her Russian accent was bordering on an imitation of Natasha from The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show. Still, this is a fine, quiet, light film with laughs, comfortable drama and reasonable scenarios.

HOWE: So if you are fed up with the superheros, had enough of beat-em-ups or have no kids to take to the animated films, this is a very well acted and put together movie.

– Howe gives it 3 types of religions out of 5.

– Taylor gives it 3 trifectas out 5.

Brian Taylor and Peter Howe are film reviewers based in Vernon, B.C.