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Monday, November 3, 2014

St. Vincent

We saw St. Vincent. Saturday night.

Vincent (Bill Murray) is retired and living in Brooklyn. He drinks too much, gambles too much, and has an ongoing relationship with a pregnant prostitute (Naomi Watts). He is always short of money.

Along come new neighbors Maggie (Melissa McCarthy) and Oliver (Jaeden Lieberher). Maggie is in the midst of a divorce, coping with long hours at a new job. Oliver is coping with a transfer to a new school, a parochial school, where he feels out of place. Out of necessity, or perhaps desperation, Maggie hires Vincent to provide after school care for Oliver.

Who is a saint? What qualities do we consider saintly? Through an assignment given to Oliver's class, movie explores this concept by viewing the relationships of the characters. As the relationships develop, we learn more about Vincent's past as well as hidden parts of his current life.

While the characters grow and learn, there are no magical transformations. So why is Vincent a "saint"? Or is he? You'll have to see the movie to understand.

There is buzz that Murray will be nominated for an Oscar for this film. His performance is outstanding, making Vincent a real person, not a caricature. But what I really liked was Melissa McCarthy's performance as the harried single mother; it was interesting to see her in a role that requires something more than a talent for crude comedy.

Definitely worth seeing.

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