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Drama - Family

Collateral Beauty (2016)

Duration1h 37m
RatingsUK: 12, USA: PG-13, Denmark: 7 
Source of storyAn original screenplay
DirectorDavid Frankel
Writers/ScriptAllan Loeb
StarringWill Smith, Edward Norton, Kate Winslet, Michael Peña , Helen Mirren, Naomi Harris, Keira Knightly, Jacob Latimore, Ann Dowd, 
RatingsIMDb: 6.7/10 by 99.131 people.  Rotten Tomatoes: 14% by 183 reviewers. Review2view: 3/10.

Elevator Pitch: Howard Inlet has been the controlling partner and the former charismatic leader of a successful advertising agency, but after the death of his daughter has retreated into himself, doing nothing but constructing domino chains, cycling and sitting in the dark. The remaining partners, Claire, Whit and Simon hire a private detective and after Whit meets with a trio of actors at a small theatre they develop a plan to confront Howard with them playing “Love”, “Time” and “Death”, to whom Howard has written letters. Although their intent is to show that he is unbalanced, their interaction improves his condition and he visits a bereavement group, becoming friendly with its co-ordinator. The actors also help the partners with their own problems. How will it all end?

Content: The IMDb parent’s guide was unable to identify anything which might offend other than a few swear words. Most of the film is taken up with Will Smith looking miserable whatever he might be doing. Once the actors have been discovered we see them in conversation with the partners. Claire has a wish to have a child but has no partner, so is partnered with Time, Simon has cancer and so is partnered with Death and Whit is estranged from his daughter so is partnered with Love. These couples discuss things. The three actors confront Howard at various times. He eventually joins the bereavement group.

A View: The critics did not like this outing, one of them calling it “borderline offensive” and the cost of the stars’ wages prevented it from it making much money. The whole cast was nominated for a Razzie. Actually, even suspending disbelief and offering a lot of good will, the plot could not possible have worked, even following its own rules and as for the twist, or twists! Well I’ll go to the foot of our stairs!

Here are some better Will Smith films. After the Oscars event will there ever be any more? I am Legend, Hancock and the best of the MIB films (in my view) Men in Black 3 .

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels


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