St Vincent (2014): Bill Murray, Melissa McCarthy, Naomi Watts, Chris O'Dowd, Terrace Howard, Jaeden Lieberher
St. Vincent is a heartwarming film about friendship, family and how people come together and help each other even if they are extraordinarily different. It is also a reminder that people can be interesting even if grumpy and that appearances can be deceiving unless noticed. The tale is about Maggie (McCarthy), a single mother moving into a home in Brooklyn with her 12-year old son Oliver (Lieberher). Maggie is going through a divorce and is struggling to make ends meet and decides to hire the cranky neighbor, Vincent (Murray). Enters in Murray a cantankerous, sarcastic, drinker, broke gambler residing in a decrepit home with an adorable cat named Felix. Of course, a strange and new friendship blossoms between the two adults. Add pregnant, lady of the night, Danka (Watts), Catholic teacher Brother Geraghty (O'Dowd) and bookie Zucko (Howard) to the mix for an hilarious, yet serious and poignant film.
Murray is brilliant as a bankrupt curmudgeon with a sharp tongue though slowly softens during the daily overseeing of Oliver. Vincent helps Oliver grow into a young man that can stand up against all odds. And, Oliver begins to really see and understand that Vincent is a person with a heavy coat of crusty varnish yet underneath is a person with a heart of gold. The scenes in the movie are witty, funny and heartfelt. McCarthy takes a backseat from being loud and crude to portraying a woman juggling work and raising a son with love. Watts is downright fantastic as a Russian stripper and O'Dowd is zany as the Catholic teacher. However, Lieberher as Oliver steals the show along with Murray capturing the hearts of the audience. Bring Kleenex. Oscar bound indeed.