Who in your life do you know is a modern day Saint?
The logline on Netflix states:
"With his parents preoccupied with their divorce, lonely 12-year-old Oliver strikes up a friendship with his war-veteran neighbor Vincent."
Oliver, played by Jaeden Lieberher, experiences his parent's divorce and faces the challenge of being the "new kid" at school. The feeling of lonesomeness can be harsh on anyone, let alone a poor little kid. With no father and no friends, you just empathize with Oliver and his mother, played by Melissa McCarthy.
Enter Vincent, played by Bill Murray, an alcoholic Vietnam War Vet who eats sardines, sleeps with the "Lady of the Night", and has no affection towards life or anyone in general. Does Vincent sound like a role model to you?
Well, you'd be surprised.
This relationship is a double edge sword. As Oliver begins to idolize his new babysitter, Vincent rediscovers his soul through his self-reflected relationship with Oliver.
I had a lot of male role models in my life that came in all different sounds, shapes, sizes, and colors. My Grandpa was my most special friend, idol and role model. He was Saint James. I remember from a very early age that I wanted to be exactly like him.
When I was five, I began to acquire skills that most kids don't develop. We all have our idols and role models, but Jim Zosel was something else. Jim was a teacher, preacher, and a screecher. If that is what he is then that is what I am too.
Not many people teach 5-year-olds how to bake bread, 7-year-olds how to use power tools, swim, bike, paint, draw, wear cool hats and most importantly learn how to be a people person. Goodness, he taught me how to use a bandsaw at age 7! I remember helping my Grandpa install worms in his basement so he could compost during the winter. What other kid learns the importance of vermiculture at age 9? Me, that's who. He taught me how to fix bikes, drive, cook, and to think outside the box. The list just keeps going on and theses are the sorts of things that Vincent teaches Oliver in the film.
My Grandpa was Saint James. He was a man of humor, heart, and quirkiness. He laughed from his heart, smiled with his eyes and every word he spoke was sung with such love and joy. But, most importantly he listened with his eyebrows and heard you with his soul. Not too many people can listen because most people just can hear you speak but they don't listen. Saint James mastered both. That is what a Saint is to me making him my Saint James.
He was a "Jack of all trades", a master of none.
I learned countless things from Saint James. The one thing I want to share with you of what he taught me is that it is important to be dynamic. He instilled in me that you need to know a little bit about everything because if you do, you just may be the smartest person in the room.
St. Vincent is a film that we all can relate too whether if you are young or old. I, one hundred percent saw myself walking in Oliver's shoes throughout the film because of how beautifully the relationship between him and Vincent unfolded.
Then I realized that if WWII didn't happen in the 1940's and if somehow someone sparked the idea to my Grandpa to go to Hollywood and be a comedic actor, he would be Bill Murray. My grandpa is Bill Murray before Bill Murray was even born. If someone were to play my Grandpa in a film, I'd choose him. No doubt. But, he would never do him the justice that he deserves because to me, there is only one Grandpa Jim.
St. Vincent is a film that has evoked so much emotion from me. I wouldn't be a man I was if it weren't for my Grandpa, I would probably be half a man or a quarter of one. That is why I believe that it is so important for children to have mentors outside of their parents.
Every kid needs a role model to look up to. I had my Grandpa.
Thank you so much for everything Grandpa.
So if you miss me up in heaven, watch this movie on Netflix and it will rekindle a lot of fond memories of the both of us.
I love you, forever and always.
Your favorite Grand Kid, hands down.
The Cat of Cinema