Bill Murray’s “St. Vincent” – A Review

Let’s cut to the chase: I loved the movie. If you don’t want to see a movie that portrays real life where people gamble, drink, consort with strippers, and bet on the ponies while cursing up a streak, St. Vincent is not for you. You have been warned. (Remember: I have the tender ears of a sailor. My threshold is very high.)

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Let’s start with the good stuff: the St. Vincent trailer

The stars, Bill Murray, Naomi Watts, Melissa McCarthy, and a strong supporting cast (including the children – featuring Jaeden Liberherr) all turn out great performances. The story is a good one and well written for the screen. There are more than a handful of memorable lines in the movie, and the audience seemed to respond well to the ones I enjoyed most (so it wasn’t just weird little me.)

I’m not going to tell you the story line. What I will tell you is that the movie actually has a strong moral message. I know this will upset some of more conservative brothers and sisters, but even rank sinners (which includes me) have some good points. Bill Murray’s character has them in abundance. He is a foul-mouthed, drunken boor on some levels, but a guy you’d want to know on others.

I had an emotionally hard time with parts of the movie. It reminded me, down to the house the movie is set in, of a neighbor in his final years. I loved him as a friend and a compatriot. He was my dad’s age, and he was one of those guys who probably retired too early and fell into disrepair. He had some real reasons for his final decline. Very different in many ways from the Murray character, but the similarities were abundant and touched on a few memories. It reinforced the need to be kind and considerate of people we don’t understand, or would sometimes look down on in our lives.

Compassion is a rare trait these days. I find it joyful on more than one level that a character like this brings it to the fore in my thinking. I smiled a lot during the movie. I also choked up a bit and shed a few tears at one point. Most of all, I enjoyed the movie and rejoice that there is about zero chance of a sequel – it would ruin a great stand-alone flick.

If you can tolerate the language and amoral behavior, it’s a movie you should see. Not for anyone under 16, nor for anyone who can’t stand guys like those that live in my world. I have to give it four ratings:

Five stars for fans of Bill Murray.

4.5 stars for people who can enjoy a great performance and ignore some grime.

Two stars for anyone who objects on a moral basis to any of the commandments being broken. The underlying message is good, the patina is not.

One star for the fussy among us who will complain about anything that you couldn’t do in church on Sunday.

I hope you enjoy the movie as much as I did. St. Vincent is a winner. Look for Murray to grab a little gold statue in the late winter months.

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