St. Vincent

St. Vincent ★★★½

Fitting into the tonal gray area between melancholy comedy and light-toned drama, Theodore Melfi's "St. Vincent" is a pleasantly low-key charmer about the makeshift families that become the foundation of people's lives. With a standout performance by Bill Murray and story with enough warmth to melt the most cantankerous of hearts, the comic drama is appealing and capably assembled. It is an engaging coming-of-post-middle-age tale.

Revolving around a single mom and her son who move into a Brooklyn neighborhood only to find themselves in the bad graces of the man next door, "St. Vincent" charts the unlikely friendship between Bill Murray's cranky Vincent and Jaeden Lieberher's impressionable Oliver. The story beats are familiar but fulfilling, and the narrative's strength is allowing Vincent's hidden humanity to be revealed over the course of the film.

Melfi has an eye for texture landscapes and characters, and both are efficiently communicated. His cast his strong, and it provides an equal dose of edge and heart. The film deftly treads the line between somber and joyous, bearing a layered tone.

With moments geared to generate both laughter and tears, "St. Vincent" offers low-wattage entertainment and spot-on performances. Its emotions are rarely forced, its narrative is alive, and its themes are important and human. It is a satisfying experience.

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