I may have shed a tear or two because Collateral Beauty is a story about a father unable to function after his six-year-old daughter passes, but that doesn’t mean it was a ‘weepy’ holiday film done well.
Starring Will Smith, Kate Winslet, Helen Mirren, Keira Knightley, Edward Norton, Naomie Harris and Jacob Latimore, the signs that the David Frankel-directed movie wasn’t going to be the best experience overall, started with me finding myself irritated by Will Smith’s mourning face – within the first 20 minutes. Not really great since he spends at least 95% of the film wearing said face.
In addition to my apparent impatience with seemingly prolonged periods of misery, I was disappointed that Collateral Beauty didn’t come together as well as I’d hoped. There’s something about the pace and edit that didn’t sit well with me. Mainly, however, I find myself leaning towards the quality of the story as another reason why my experience was underwhelming. Perhaps I didn’t get to spend enough time with Howard (Smith) before his tragedy. Had I done so, I may have cared more deeply about his distress. Most of the cast if not all are almost too talented for their performances to be the problem.
The few moments of humour between Winslet, Norton and Pena’s characters is my main highlight. I also liked the dialogue when Keira Knightly’s character is literally on stage and reading her lines to the young man played by Latimore. I was pretty taken at this point. Beyond these few brief moments where I’m really engaged, the only other aspect of Collateral Beauty that made me happy is the imagery of New York City. I really do miss that place.
Watch this movie if nothing will stop you, just don’t expect great things.
Happy Film Loving