Bill Murray’s delivered acclaimed, near-expressionless performances throughout this century — in films from Lost in Translation to The Life Aquatic to Broken Flowers. So it’s sometimes easy to forget that the comedy in Murray’s movies was once pretty broad. As much as I love the Murray that’s served as muse to arthouse directors like Wes Anderson and Sofia Coppola, I do occasionally miss the guy who cracked me up with his outrageousness in Caddyshack, Stripes, and Ghostbusters. Someone else in Hollywood must feel the way I do, because it looks like the Murray of old surfaces in St. Vincent, in which the actor plays a grumpy neighbor to a just-divorced Melissa McCarthy and her young son. The trailer has just arrived online.
Directed by Theodore Melfi, St. Vincent offers supporting turns from Chris O’Dowd and Naomi Watts. While the relationship between Murray’s St. Vincent de Van Nuys and his new twelve-year-old sidekick (played by Jaeden Lieberher) is the film’s heart — and places St. Vincent in the questionable-role-model genre of About a Boy and Bad Santa — it’s the chemistry between the quick-fire McCarthy and the laconic Murray that gives the trailer its biggest laughs. McCarthy’s energy perfectly contrasts with the star’s casual delivery, best illustrated in the laser-timed exchange between them at the trailer’s end. The film is due out on October 24th from the Weinstein Company, and it’s already getting Murray — who’s long overdue for an Oscar — some award season buzz.