SMITH AND MIRREN IN REIMAGINED TALE
Collateral Beauty Rated M Stars Will Smith, Edward Norton, Kate Winslet, Helen Mirren and Keira Knightley Directed by David Frankel Screens at Moonrise Cinema on Saturday, March 4, at 7pm. Visit moonrisecinema.com.au.
After the death of his six-year-old daughter, Howard (Will Smith) begins writing letters to Death, Time and Love.
His colleagues try unconventional methods to try to reconnect with the once dynamic advertising executive who has retreated from the world.
Whit (Edward Norton), Claire (Kate Winslet) and Simon (Michael Pena) hire actors to play Death (Helen Mirren), Time (Jacob Latimore) and Love (Keira Knightley) who in turn confront Howard over his letters to the universe.
His business partners reason their antics will either give them the proof they need to remove him from company duties because he is unhinged or, alternatively, force him to face up to reality and start living again.
A private detective (Ann Dowd) is also brought on board to film his interactions with Death, Time and Love to use as proof of his instability.
His questioning of the universe and his friends’ intervention have unexpected results for Howard and also force his business partners to face some stark realities.
Emotional connection with at least one of the characters should have been easy, considering the premise of the story.
Alas, Smith’s grieving father lacks dialogue of substance and his colleagues’ morally questionable actions keep the audience at a distance.
It’s not often that the closing minutes of a film extract all-round groans from the audience but this is one thing Collateral Beauty did achieve.
An all-star cast couldn’t stop the film from collapsing into a sentimental heap that finishes with an overdose of saccharine scenes.
Helen Mirren as Brigitte and Will Smith as Howard in Collateral Beauty.