St. Vincent

Musical Score By: Theodore Shapiro

Distributed by: Sony Classical

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


            In St. Vincent , Melissa McCarthy is Maggie, a single mother embroiled in a custody battle over her twelve-year-old son Oliver (Jaeden Lieberher).  When she moves into her new home in Brooklyn, she finds herself needing to work long hours to support her son and her divorce lawyer's fees.  She is forced to rely on her neighbor Vincent (Billy Murray) to babysit.  A grumpy individual with a penchant for drinking and gambling, Vincent would be the last person anyone would consider for sainthood...or would he?

            The musical score of St. Vincent was created by American composer Theodore Shapiro.  Earning a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Brown University and a Master of Fine Arts in Music Composition from the Juilliard School, Shapiro began his scoring career in the mid-1990s, creating musical composition for television and film shorts.  He became a sought after composer in the 2000s, creating movie scores for State and Main, Not Another Teen Movie, Bug, The Devil Wears Prada, Idiocracy, Blades of Glory, Tropic Thunder, Marley & Me, Dinner for Schmucks and more.

            When I saw promos for St. Vincent, I was under the distinct impression that this film was a comedy through and through, but the score of St. Vincent expresses dramatic moments as well.  Drama/sadness are punctuated by piano solos, while the rest of the soundtrack features quirky, upbeat music comprised of guitars, keyboards and various uncommon instruments and sounds like sticks striking metal and plastic, hand clapping, snapping and more.

            The music of St. Vincent expresses the comedic moments of the film in which Vincent uses unorthodox means to teach Oliver life lessons, but it also expresses sadness and hardship in which we see a different side of Vincent - the side that is caring for an ailing wife while dealing with repercussions of his time in Vietnam.  While I really had no desire to see the film based on the previews, after listening to the soundtrack, I am inspired to check St. Vincent out.  That is the mark of an excellent score - one that inspires a person to want to see the movie the composition was written for.  Excellent job, Theodore Shapiro!


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