Review: St Vincent at Moonlight Cinema

ST Vincent 1

Forget about all the film roles Bill Murray has had in the past– he is definitely the coolest and wildest babysitter a kid can ask for in his latest film, St Vincent.

The Moonlight Cinema opened with the advanced screening of this well-directed  feel good comedy that will certainly be a hit during the festive season.

Directed by Hollywood unknown Theodore Melfi, St Vincent brings a freshness and lightness of touch only independent films can – yet with big name actors featured.

Oliver, 12 years old, moves into a new house with his newly divorced and hard-working mother, next door to Vietnam War veteran Vincent MacKenna. One day, Oliver is locked out of home and Vincent grudgingly allows him to stay at his house. Desperate for cash, Vincent agrees to ‘babysit’ Oliver after school until his mother gets home from work. This marks the beginning of an adventure that sees Oliver introduced to Vincent’s rather unorthodox lifestyle of gambling, dodgy bars and relationship with a Russian prostitute.

Aussie actress Naomi Watts is a standout as Russian prostitute Daka

Aussie actress Naomi Watts is a standout as Russian prostitute Daka

Overall, the cast pulls this off beautifully and it is great to see actors stepping out of the Hollywood blockbuster box to take real risks with unique roles. The challenge of an independent movie is not always easy but St Vincent scores.

It is well known that Bill Murray is quite selective with the roles he accepts but the personality of Vincent MacKenna, a drunken, irreverent and careless Chrysler Lebaron driver stroked the actor. And you can definitely see that on screen; this role suits him and he carries it off with flair and a sense of authenticity.

But the most dramatic surprise is Australian actress Naomi Watts as Daka Paramova, the Russian prostitute and Vincent’s love interest. Watts is barely recognisable thanks to a total makeover and an incredible accent.

Young Jaeden Lieberher, as Oliver Bronstein, shows a lot of promise and is totally engaging in the role. Melissa Mcarthy strays out of her comfort zone away from her usual comedies as she tackles a more emotional and complex character.

St Vincent is enjoyable both artistically and aesthetically. The film is visually pleasing, from wide angles of the Chrysler Lebaron to close up shots of Bill Murray and Jaeden Lieberher as they gradually build a surprising and touching relationship.

If you don’t know your neighbours, St Vincent may just inspire you to  meet them, for better or worse.

St Vincent opened in cinemas across Australia on Boxing Day, December 26.

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