Resting a movie on an actor's shoulders can be challenge for marketing wizards. The performer needs to be (or at least appear) at the top to convince audience the film is time well spent. That can often mean touting the transcendent moments – which explains why the scene from Weinstein Company's upcoming dramedy “St. Vincent” is now available for previewing.
The story of a cantankerous Brooklynite (played by Bill Murray) who forms a philosophically symbiotic relationship with a wimpy kid next door, “St. Vincent” marks the feature film debut of Theodore Melfi, who has earned love for the film since the script landed on the Black List back in 2011. Vincent's lackadaisical nature is a perfect fit for Murray; The actor's skills are all about turning any grimy burnout into an empathetic character. The recently released snippet of footage, yanked from the film's end credits (and existing in a vacuum, worried spoilerphobes), says it all. It's like Murray's curtain call – his bow, a mush-mouthed rendition of Bob Dylan's “Shelter from the Storm”.
Like critical reactions out of its Toronto Film Festival, reactions to Melfi's dramedy should be all over the map. “St. Vincent” falls smack dab in the middle of the crowd-pleaser category, Murray's caustic humor alley-loping moments of unbridled schmaltz. Our own Gregory Ellwood adored it, calling the film “charming” and Murray “a force of nature.” Other reviews weren't so kind, but “St. Vincent” knows what it is and goes for it without hesitation. Costars Melissa McCarthy, Naomi Watts, Chris O'Dowd and newcomer Jaeden Liberher are hold up against the Murray maelstrom.
Coupled with festival praise is a theory (or dream?) that Murray could wiggle into the Best Actor category for his work in “St. Vincent.” The role may not push hard enough in any particular direction, but the honor would be a long time coming for Murray, who was nominated only once, for 2003's “Lost in Translation.” This clip alone should earn him a little voter love.
“St. Vincent” arrives in theaters Oct. 10