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HD-1080P St. Vincent 2014
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It’s been more than a decade since Lost in Translation. Save for a splendid cameo as himself in Zombieland (2009), Bill Murray hasn’t come close to matching the weary joy of that performance, the essential Bill Murrayness of it. St Vincent gives him a shot at last.
This Brooklyn-set comedy-drama is about a Vietnam vet with every Scroogian characteristic writer-director Theodore Melfi can possibly ascribe to him. Murray’s Vincent is stubborn, curmudgeonly, misanthropic, grasping, rude and belligerent. He wears a pair of cargo shorts which were probably last washed in the 1980s. He chain-smokes, gambles, goes out drinking with dangerous frequency for a man of his age, and pays a Russian prostitute (Naomi Watts gyyeeeving comical accent) for sex.
Next door to this toxic waster moves a well-meaning divorced mother called Maggie (Melissa McCarthy) with her 12-year-old son Oliver (Jaeden Lieberher), who isn’t quite an orphan, but nonetheless ticks some neo-Dickensian boxes as the meek, neglected lad needing a father figure. He’s bullied at school. This sets up the film’s most predictable scene, when Murray’s Vincent – who becomes a kind of grudging manny when Maggie’s working late – steps in to give the bullies a taste of their own medicine, principally by threatening violence against their mothers.
The film toggles back and forth in a sitcom sort of way between the sequences where things are working out well – quirkily, unconventionally, but well – and the ones where Vincent blows these new relationships by being a selfish nutcase. His secret heart of gold plays hide and seek, but we know it’s there.
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Melfi’s film has a scrimpy budget, but one eye is trained beadily on a crossover audience – it’s essentially a formulaic crowd-pleaser in indie drag. It’s refreshing to see McCarthy in a soft, straight part where she doesn’t have to barge around the place like a bull in a china shop. Still, Murray’s the draw here, and the film’s best moments let him sink deeply into a role as snug, comfortable and hard to resist as a favourite tatty armchair.
There’s a heart-tugging payoff of shameless public appreciation for him. But you would trade it in for the end credits, which play out over a single shot of Vincent with a Walkman in his back yard, doing a spot of lazily seated gardening while he smokes and half-mumbles, half-sings his way through Dylan’s ‘Shelter from the Storm’. It’s such a casually transfixing demonstration of Bill Murrayness you may not notice a single name that’s scrolling up the screen.

St. Vincent 2014
St. Vincent 2014
St. Vincent 2014
St. Vincent 2014
St. Vincent 2014
St. Vincent 2014
St. Vincent 2014
St. Vincent 2014
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