Modern-day Scrooge is uplifting and funny

St Vincent starring Bill Murray. Photo: PA Photo/Handout/The Weinstein Company

St Vincent starring Bill Murray. Photo: PA Photo/Handout/The Weinstein Company

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

There are neither jingling bells nor ghostly visitations in

The Oscar-nominated star of

His irascible old coot might gamble, smoke and drink to excess, and seek physical pleasure in the company of a heavily pregnant Russian prostitute, but we fall head over heels for Murray’s virtuoso portrayal.

Writer-director Melfi doesn’t lay on the sentimentality too thickly as he exposes glimmers of hope for each dysfunctional character.