Bill Murray has had the most piquant of film careers, launching himself from Saturday Night Live into goofy comedies that eventually gave way to something deeper and more satisfying, appearing in everything from Zombieland (as a version of himself) to the films of Wes Anderson to wildly varied recent work such as Hyde Park on Hudson and Get Low.
With St. Vincent, Murray gives his most soulful performance since Lost in Translation. As Vincent McKenna, he gets to unleash a growling, dyspeptic misanthrope unlike any he has played before. He avoids the cliches inherent in the tropes of Theodore Melfi's script and gives the film its heart and its wicked edge.
Vincent initially seems like one of those rogues scrambling to stay a step ahead of disaster in his life. He's not a lovable rogue -- just a humorously crotchety guy with a drinking habit and money problems.
He's about at the end of his rope when a new neighbor moves in and her moving truck clips a branch off a tree and on to Vincent's car. But the neighbor is a struggling single mom (Melissa McCarthy) who winds up hiring Vincent to watch her son Oliver (Jaeden Lieberher) after school.
This review continues on my website.