Collateral Beauty

"OK"

Collateral Beauty Review


Dramas exploring the nature of death and the true meaning of life are always in danger of tipping over into extreme sentimentality, and this one very quickly gets bogged down in buckets of syrup. It's a slickly made movie with a first-rate cast, but occasional glimpses of gritty honesty aren't quite enough to counteract sudsy philosophising that sounds profound but is actually rather shallow.

It's set in New York, where advertising company owner Howard (Will Smith) is still lost in grief six months after the death of his 6-year-old daughter. And his business partners are worried that the company is falling apart as a result. In desperation, best pal Whit (Edward Norton), protege Claire (Kate Winslet) and rising-star Simon (Michael Pena) hire a private detective (Ann Dowd) to determine Howard's mental fitness to run the company. They also hire three actors to confront him as Love (Keira Knightley), Time (Jacob Latimore) and Death (Helen Mirren), abstract concepts he's obsessed with. But they don't know that Howard is also considering attending a grief counselling meeting run by Madeleine (Naomie Harris).

Directed with a magical sheen by David Frankel (Hope Springs) and written to within an inch of its life by Allan Loeb (The Switch), there's nothing about this film that doesn't feel contrived and controlled. In addition to their scenes with Howard, each of the three actors has an impact on the colleague who needs their specific gifts. And there are a number of revelations and twists that feel annoyingly hokey. Even so, the cast is strong enough to add moments of lightness that lift the movie briefly out of the sludge. Mirren, Knightley and Latimore have a sparky edge as the story's catalysts. While Norton, Winslet and Pena bring some raw, honest emotion to their own personal dramas.

Meanwhile, Smith wanders through the entire movie in a gloomy funk, so Harris steals the show as a radiant, straight-talking woman who understands his grief far better than he does. Yes, this is the kind of movie in which every scene is punctuated by a platitude, simplistically using huge issues to manipulate the audience's emotions. Viewers who are happy to be put through the wringer like this will no doubt love exhausting a box of tissues in the process. But others will find the cod philosophy difficult to stomach. At least it looks pretty, set in a twinkly Christmas-time Manhattan with a cast of gifted A-list stars who don't outstay their welcome.

 

Rich Cline



Collateral Beauty

Facts and Figures

Genre: Dramas

Run time: 97 mins

In Theaters: Friday 16th December 2016

Box Office Worldwide: $5 thousand

Budget: $36M

Distributed by: New Line Cinema

Production compaines: Likely Story, Anonymous Content, PalmStar Media

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

IMDB: 5.9 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: , Bard Dorros, Kevin Scott Frakes, Allan Loeb, Michael Sugar

Starring: as Howard Inlet, as Whit Yardsham, as Claire, as Aimee Moore, as Brigitte, as Simon, as Madeleine, as Raffi, as Stan, Kylie Rogers as Allison Yardsham, as Beverly, Liza Colón-Zayas as Robin

Contactmusic


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