Extra Cinema: St Vincent (12A)

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Starring: Bill Murray, Melissa McCarthy, Jaeden Lieberher

Director: Theodore Melfi

A modern-day Scrooge is moved by the plight of a young boy in Theodore Melfi’s touching and frequently uproarious comedy.

Vincent (Murray) lives in a ramshackle house in Brooklyn with a pet cat and dreams of the past.

Lady Luck smiles on the sexagenarian loner when struggling single mother Maggie (Melissa McCarthy) and her son Oliver (Lieberher) move in next door and Vincent exploits Maggie to become the lad’s babysitter.

Vincent introduces Oliver to horse racing, and his feisty Russian companion-for-money Daka (Naomi Watts).

When Vincent’s schoolteacher Brother Geraghty (Chris O’Dowd) asks his impressionable charges to deliver a verbal report on someone they consider a 21st-century saint, Oliver knows exactly who he wants to canonise.

St Vincent is anchored by Murray’s award-worthy performance, but supporting cast is equally impressive, often in underwritten roles.

Rating: 8/10