Every year at the Oscars there’s a number of discussions that pertain to the award but not that particular show. The most amusing one is always “Who’s the most noteworthy actor who hasn’t won one yet?” For years it was Leonardo DiCaprio, who finally won an Oscar for The Revenant after years of chasing the golden trophy. Lately the two biggest names still on that list seem to be Johnny Depp and Will Smith. Depp has been close, and had a number of roles that seemed poised to get him an Oscar, and it seems like a matter of time before the circumstances will reward him.
Smith? The harder he tries to get that ultimate career validation the further he seems to get away from it. And if Collateral Beauty is any indication he’ll be getting a Lifetime Achievement award before he’ll get one for acting.
Simple premise. Howard (Smith) is an advertising executive utterly broken by the death of his daughter. He’s been writing letters to concepts, like Time & Death, to try and cope with his pain. His partners at the agency (Kate Winslet, Ed Norton, Michael Pena) need his votes to sell the agency, something he won’t do. They devise an awful plan: hire actors to play the concepts he’s been writing to, videotape the footage and then delete the actors. The plan is to prove Howard is crazy, and take over his shares, and Howard gets some semblance of closure.
The problem is that it is wrongly named. It should be called GIVE ME ALL THE OSCARS! as it’s the type of film that would seem like a Saturday Night Live parody than a genuine film. It’s full of the sort of big moments that are meant to be emotional, and dramatic, but wind up falling flat because they’re tinged with melodramatic overkill.
Collateral Beauty isn’t helped by how ham-fisted and manipulative it is beyond the melodrama. Throw in that the film’s crux is around a dead child and this is the sort of film that has “good intentions but awful execution” written all over it. There’s a reason why this film was dumped into theatres the same weekend as Rogue One upon release. Recommendation to avoid.
An EPK piece is the lone extra … and it’s not very good.
Warner Bros presents Collateral Beauty. Directed by David Frankel. Written by Allen Loeb. Starring Will Smith, Edward Norton, Kate Winslet, Michael Pena, Helen Mirren, Naomie Harris, Keira Knightley, Jacob Latimore. Run Time: minutes. Rating. Released on:
Tags: Collateral Beauty, Edward Norton, Helen Mirren, Jacob Latimore, kate winslet, Keira Knightley, Michael Pena, Naomie Harris, Will Smith