Tuesday, January 5, 2016
#JustaQuickiePlease: St. Vincent Review
I have a penchant for a good indie movie: films with humanity, skipping all the trappings of Hollyweird's "prim and proper-ing." Movies that feel authentic, with sincere humor and emotionally charged, believable drama; where seasoned actors are pushed beyond their limits and typecasting into a realm of raw originality. It is a rare thing to find any cinematic experience that meets such criteria but there are a few that come dangerously close. With that said, brand spanking new director, Theodore Melfi, takes a big risk with two big names and crafts an amazing story that gives me renewed hope that quality work still exists out there in Tinsel Town. Despite some improbable plot points and the detestable ideas that all heroes must be reduced to the lowliest state for us to be able to relate to them and no one is truly the "bad guy," the overall tone, feel, and impact of this flick is remarkable. The three leads; Murray, McCarthy and, the young, Lieberher bring a finely contrived script to gloriously depressive and yet surprisingly hopeful life. And I just realized what a wonderfully artful actress McCarthy is when she is not spewing relentless f-bombs or partaking in incessantly nonsensical "Stooges" like slapstick. She is both endearing and warmly funny. Murray does the impossible for such an iconic comedian; he successfully and quite masterfully separates himself from his irrefutable imagery to deliver, what I think, is the performance of his recent career. But it is Lieberher who steals every scene he is in, not because of his convincingly charming naiveté but his genuineness and absolute dedication to his role. The remaining cast is equally impressive no matter how brief their time is on screen. This is what indie films should be; an amply told tale, rich with credible characters that truly connect with the audience while avoiding all the precociousness and pretentiousness that is annoyingly common in this genre. 4 out of 5 Kernels: Thank God for small miracles and St Vincent is one I am truly grateful for.