St. Vincent Parent Guide
While the story's central theme that there is good in everyone is laudable, viewers may find themselves debating whether the delivered message is sweetly sentimental or masterly manipulative.
Parent Movie Review
How would you define a Saint? Someone who is holy, kind, courageous, patient and self-sacrificing? All of these are praiseworthy attributes—and none of them would come to mind if you were asked to describe Vincent (Bill Murray).
For Maggie (Melissa McCarthy) and her son Oliver (Jaeden Lieberher), slovenly and hostile are the first impressions of their new neighbor. And their observations of Vincent are accurate. Other shortcomings that could appropriately be added to the list are drunkard, gambler, chain-smoker and regular customer of a lady of the night (played by Naomi Watts).
So it is a strange twist of desperation that turns the old codger into Oliver’s babysitter. For the newly divorced Maggie it’s long and unpredictable work hours. For the debt-encumbered Vincent it’s a quick way to get some cash. With no plans of altering his habits, Vincent simply drags Oliver to all his usual hangouts: the racetrack, a bar and a nursing home where he delivers clean laundry to an elderly female resident. But occasionally Oliver’s life breaks into his routine—like the day a gang of bullies pushes the boy around and gives him a bloody nose. Unexpectedly Vincent comes to Oliver’s defense, and Oliver sees an unexpected side of Vincent.
Suddenly black and white judgments blur into shades of grey, and the definitions of sinner and saint become a little sketchy. While there is no question about Vincent’s lack of holiness—that’s settled with the scene of him in bed with a prostitute (she straddles him, with accompanying sexual sounds and movements)—he does prove exceptionally kind to the picked-on Oliver. As well he exhibits traits of courage, patience and self-sacrifice during his interactions with his well-fed cat, the old woman with dementia and the sex-trade worker whose unplanned pregnancy is about to seriously impact her earning potential.
Just like the balancing act of Vincent’s virtues and vices, the script also teeter-totters between positives and negatives. On the plus side, there are some great performances here from Murray’s crusty-on-the-outside character, to McCarthy’s fighting-to-get-it-together mom and Lieberher’s exceptionally-played tenacious weakling. The minuses include the unethical means Vincent uses to accomplish his good deeds (like lying, stealing, betting and drug selling), and some glaring plot holes, especially when Vincent’s drowning financial problems inexplicably dry up.
The film presents some content issues for young viewers too. There is the litany of profanities, crass comments, a strong sexual expletive and several vulgar hand gestures. Implied sexual activity, depictions of strippers dancing, excessive alcohol consumption and smoking also clutter the production, along with portrayals of a threatening loan shark.
While the story’s central theme that there is good in everyone is laudable, viewers may find themselves debating whether the delivered message is sweetly sentimental or masterly manipulative. Regardless of what you decide, one thing seems abundantly certain: Despite the accolades of the angelic Oliver to encourage those around him to see the best in others, his praise isn’t likely to convince St. Vincent to give up his faults anytime soon.Directed by Theodore Melfi. Starring Melissa McCarthy, Naomi Watts, Bill Murray, Chris O'Dowd, Jaeden Lieberher. Running time: 103 minutes. Theatrical release October 17, 2014. Updated May 19, 2016
Rating & Content Info
Why is St. Vincent rated PG-13? St. Vincent is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for mature thematic material including sexual content, alcohol and tobacco use, and for language.
Violence: A man shoplifts, lies, cheats and steals in order to avoid paying for something or to get a better deal. A drunk driver causes property damage. An inebriated man injures himself with falls and broken glassware. A young boy is bullied by his school peers: they verbally taunt him, steal his belonging and punch him. A couple of bloody nose injuries are shown. A man makes verbal threats while holding a tire iron. A character steals prescription drugs and then tries to sell them on the black market. A loan shark and his enforcer threaten a man who owes them money.
Sexual Content: There is an implied sexual relationship between a prostitute and her client—in one scene she is shown wearing only a bra, straddling him while he makes sexual sounds and movements. Women in bikinis pole dance at a strip bar. A character uses a toilet off-screen. A woman’s underwear is revealed when she bends over. Crass comments, rude anatomical slang and terms are heard, along with sexual references. An unwed pregnancy is shown. References are made to a man cheating on a spouse.
Language: A strong sexual expletive is heard and several vulgar hand gestures are seen. Frequent use of profanities, scatological slang, and developmental slurs. Crass comments and crude anatomical slag terms are included.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Excessive smoking and drinking are portrayed. A main character is depicted as an alcoholic and is frequently seen inebriated. Drunk driving is depicted.
Other: Gambling and horserace betting are portrayed.
Page last updated May 19, 2016
St. Vincent Parents' Guide
St. Vincent (also known as: St. Vincent De Van Nuys) is opening in limited release October 17, 2014. It will open wide on October 24, 2014.
Would you hire a man like Vincent to babysit your child? Would learning about his gentler side be enough to change your first impressions, or would you still have reservations about his suitability.
What part of Vincent does the movie emphasize to help us see the best side of his character? What things does it brush over or ignore? Do you feel the film offers a truthful depiction of such a person?
The most recent home video release of St. Vincent movie is February 17, 2015. Here are some details…Home Video Notes: St. Vincent
Release Dates: 17 February 2015
St. Vincent releases to home video (Blu-ray) with the following extras:
- Deleted scenes from the film
- Q&A with the one and only Bill Murray, the patron saint of comedy.
Related home video titles:
A boy from a broken family finds a friend in an elderly man who moves in upstairs in Hearts In Atlantis. A washed-up, former writer wants to be left alone, but that’s not likely to happen after he’s been discovered by the children of the single mother living next door, in the movie The Magic of Belle Isle. In an attempt to get away from his mother’s new boyfriend, a young boy starts hanging out at a water park where he unexpectedly finds acceptance from the owner in The Way Way Back.