Collateral Beauty

Here's a promise few movies can make. If you sink two hours into Collateral Beauty now, it's guaranteed that for the rest of your life, when conversation stalls, you can save the night by asking, "Did you ever see that movie where Will Smith plays an ad executive so shut down with grief over the death of his daughter that his business partners -- played by Edward Norton, Kate Winslet and Michael Peña — hire actors to confront him in public in the roles of Death, Time and Love, the abstract concepts to whom he has been penning and mailing angry letters?"

Maybe you'll be at a dinner. Maybe nobody will believe you.

You'll continue. "Helen Mirren plays the actress who plays Death. And Keira Knightley plays Love. But that's not the weirdest part. The business partners want the Will Smith character to step aside, so they set it up so that he believes that nobody but him can see Death, Time and Love, even when he's shouting at them on the streets."

There will be silence.

"This was a dark comedy, right?" someone might finally say.

"No, it's meant to be inspiring. Also, each of the business partners learns valuable life lessons from Love, Death and Time."

They will say you're making it up. You may wonder if it's you who was gaslit, in that theater. Could this have been an actual film? Haven't the people who make movies themselves ever suffered bereavement? Being people, don't they know that there's better, less dangerous therapy than the staging of faux-hallucinated interventional public theater pieces?

Credits

Director:

  • David Frankel

Cast:

  • Will Smith
  • Edward Norton
  • Keira Knightley
  • Michael Peña
  • Naomie Harris
  • Jacob Latimore
  • Kate Winslet
  • Helen Mirren

Writer:

  • Allan Loeb

Producers:

  • Allan Loeb
  • Bard Dorros
  • Michael Sugar
  • Anthony Bregman
  • Kevin Frakes

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