Our Score: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Vincent (Murray) lives alone with his cat. He spends his days at the track, his nights at the bar and the occasional afternoon with his pregnant Russian girlfriend (Naomi Watts) who, despite her condition, continues to entertain as an exotic dancer. Things change when Maggie (McCarthy) and her young son, Oliver (Lieberher) move in next door. Their first meeting doesn’t go well, causing young Oliver to quip “it’s going to be a long life.”
Full of strong performances, “St Vincent” is a film with many a cliché’d character that manages to avoid every cliché’ you’d expect. Yes, Vincent is a curmudgeon and set in his ways while McCarthy is the single mom trying her best to make things work. Throw in Watts as the “dancer” with a heart of gold and you could have had a film that would make you roll your eyes constantly. But somehow writer/director Melfi manages to pull everything together almost seamlessly.
Murray gives an Oscar-worthy performance here, rivaling his work in “Lost in Translation.” I should point out that I put Murray on the short list for supporting actor earlier this year for “Monuments Men” so, in Murray’s own words from Caddyshack, “I’ve got that going for me!” McCarthy is also strong in a rare dramatic role while supporting work by Chris O’Dowd, Terrence Howard and Ann Dowd stands out as well. And I must give a shout out to young Lieberher who, at the age of 11, manages to hold his own against the unpredictable Murray in his feature film debut.