Bill Murray’s latest film, St. Vincent, recently premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival to rave reviews.
In the film, Bill Murray plays a ornery, loud-mouthed drunk named Vincent. His neighbor, a 12 year-old boy named Oliver – played exquisitely by Jaeden Lieberher – whose parents have just gone through a divorce falls under Vincent’s influence.
An over the hill gambler, Vincent needs cash, so he offers to babysit the kid next door. The boy’s mother – played by Melissa McCarthy – is hesitant at first, but finally relents.
By most reports, St. Vincent rests entirely on the performance of Bill Murray. JoBlo says that without Murray, the film “couldn’t have possibly worked” so well. The performance calls back to some of Murray’s grittier roles, a la Mad Dog and Glory, Broken Flowers or even the edgier parts of The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou.
Vincent lives alone except for his cat, Felix, and has no time or tolerance for other human beings, much less friends. The two people he does tolerate are a pregnant Russian stripper named Daka – played by Naomi Watts – and a mysterious older woman at a nursing home – played by Donna Mitchell – whom he visits weekly.
In St. Vincent, Bill Murray is essentially playing a stylized version of himself with a staunch New York accent, or, at least, a version of himself that many of us moviegoers presume him to actually be. He is witty, off the cuff, unapologetic, spontaneous and larger than life.
Though Vincent probably isn’t the best influence on young Oliver (he takes the kid to bars, race tracks and the strip club where Daka works, and teaches Oliver how to break a bully’s nose), the point of the film is that if we look hard enough, saints can be found in the most unlikely of places says Variety.
Bill Murray’s St. Vincent is possibly one of the strangest mentor’s anyone could envision. When Oliver’s mother comes home to find her son mowing Vincent’s yard – which is more dirt than grass – while he’s basking in the sun on a lawn chair with a cocktail, she asks her neighbor what the blazes is going on. Vincent’s response is priceless.
“I’m showing him how the world works. You work. You get paid. You drink.”
In St. Vincent, Bill Murray has found a role that works extremely well for him, and it’s probably the reason that the notoriously picky actor took it in the first place. The elusive Murray makes news not only for the movies he stars in, but for the life he lives – which is on his own terms.
On more than one occasion, Bill Murray has nudged someone awake who has been sleeping in an airport waiting for a flight. When they wake up and see who’s standing above them, he smiles and whispers, “No one will ever believe this.” On other occasions, Bill Murray has been known to walk into a random tavern, get behind the bar and start serving drinks. Reportedly, regardless of what anyone orders, he gives them a shot of tequila.
St. Vincent starring Bill Murray arrives in theaters on October 24th.
image via Zimbio