“Collateral Beauty” Review ✦✦✧✧✧

4 January, 2017

Director: David Frankel 
Screenwriter: Allan Loeb
Director of Photography: Maryse Alberti
Cast: Will Smith, Kate Winslet, Helen Mirren

Synopsis: An advertising executive torn apart by the death of his daughter finds himself on the path to acceptance after his colleagues enlist the help of three actors to represent Love, Time and Death.

Collateral Beauty Review:

The blueprint for how not to make a life-affirming drama, “Collateral Beauty” is a repetitive checklist which sees misery devouring happiness as terminal illness, premature death, and unrequited love are suggested to be beautiful yet never proven to be anything short of woeful through the film’s empty phrases. Suffering pains every frame of this December drama and it comes close to being a total disaster with its incessantly sappy narrative and failed attempts at comedy.

Although it has numerous shortcomings, the film more closely resembles a dull and unnecessarily downbeat soap opera than an absolute holiday stinker. Where recent seasonal headaches like “Office Christmas Party” and “Why Him?” go out of their way to win the title of Christmas turkey, “Collateral Beauty” feels like more of a misguided ensemble piece produced by a team who were willing to allow innovation to fall by the wayside. The cutting room floor devoured this movie, allowing Warner Bros. to market a “Christmas Carol” rehash instead of the collaboration piece that actually exists below the surface. Multiple narratives mesh into one and the creators avoid their Scrooge as Will Smith stands on the sidelines while the film violently swerves in multiple directions.

Rendered wooden by David Frankel’s twee and uninspired shooting style, the main cast are almost unwatchable, although Ed Norton playing a lecherous love hound is so noticeably awful that everyone else scrapes through with a pass. There are some delights to be found alongside Helen Mirren’s spunky hippie as she amuses herself in the dual-roled interplay while sitting back to watch the carnage unfold. The most telling performance has to be Smith, however, as his ridiculously overplayed puppy dog eyes come as a welcome reminder of his slowly failing career; a truth reflected over and over again within the confines of this mournful movie.


Review Date
Collateral Beauty