Astrology: Film: Review: ‘St. Vincent’ (2014)

The Weinstein Company

The Weinstein Company

Sainthood is aspirational at best and yet, as depicted in St. Vincent, it’s a possibility within reach in the real world. Written and directed by Theodore Melfi, the movie makes the surprising agent of divinity a curmudgeonly Brooklyn guy named Vincent (Bill Murray) who’s in his late sixties, drinks, gambles, is in debt to a loan shark (Terrence Howard), and hangs with Daka (Naomi Watts), a pregnant Russian hooker and pole dancer.

Although he seems to have lost all respect for himself, Vincent remains committed to an older woman (Donna Mitchell) who has dementia and resides in a pricey facility. It’s during his visits there that he exudes what passes for affection and, shockingly, responsibility. When he leaves that environment, it’s back to his old routine of sarcasm and bad habits.

It’s a given that an external force – who’ll find good reason to respect Vincent – is required for Vincent to master himself. That conduit is a young boy named Oliver (Jaeden Lieberher) whose mother (Melissa McCarthy), newly divorced with a time-consuming job, needs someone to look after her son after school lets out.

Desperately in need of cash, Vincent offers his services, which includes showing the kid how to fight bullies and introducing him to the race track and the inside of a local bar. When Oliver’s school teacher (Chris O’Dowd) assigns the class a project focused on the saints among us, Oliver – who’s now bonded to his unlikely babysitter – knows exactly whom he wants to metaphorically canonize. Cue the violins or, in this case, the heavenly harps.

St. Vincent addresses the solar archetype tied to fatherhood, the father figure and creative self-expression. It also explores the pristine Saturnine commitment that Vincent has in huge reserves for the woman he visits but no wellspring of self-discipline. The gambling odds are that Oliver, Maggie and Daka will see Vincent’s halo before closing credits.

Astrology Film Rating: ☉ ♄ (Sun, Saturn)

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