St Vincent ★★★★
Premiere 9.00-11.05pm Film4
Bill Murray has a knack of looking as if he has just wandered into films. His roots in improvisational comedy serve him well in middle age and he brings deadpan grace to often average movies. Roguish indie charmer St Vincent is better than average, however. The debut of writer/director Theodore Melfi (now an awards season darling with three Oscar nominations for Hidden Figures), it casts Murray as a seemingly misanthropic Vietnam vet whose wife is in a care home with Alzheimer’s. He softens on befriending single mom Melissa McCarthy’s bullied son, Jaeden Lieberher, and a pan-generational odd-couple bond is formed, reminiscent of the one in Rushmore. Naomi Watts has fun as a pregnant Russian sex worker and Chris O’Dowd makes a good, uptight priest. Though resolutions are hard-won, it’s full of sublime moments like Murray singing along to Dylan’s Shelter from the Storm on a lawn chair.
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