If only we could be strangers
Village Jam Factory - Monday 16 January 2017, 6:45pm
Running time: 97m
Country: United States
Classification: M (Coarse language)
Release date: 12/01/17
Rating: 5.5/10 (ME 3.5/5, DP 2/5)
Advertising executive Howard (Will Smith) is a man in crisis; the ongoing grief over his dead daughter is dragging him and his company down. When he writes letters to 'death', 'time' and 'love', his colleagues (Edward Norton, Michael Peña and Kate Winslet) employ a group of actors (Helen Mirren, Keira Knightley and Jacob Latimore) to help answer Howard's letters.
Moving and clever while being simple and schmaltzy, Collateral Beauty is human drama about life, death and dominoes. The plot takes a few unexpected turns, and it's more preachy than it needs to be, but it all seems to come together. Despite a shortage of dialogue, Will Smith provides an excellent performance particularly in the scenes with Naomie Harris as a mother leading a support group for other parents who have lost children. Even at 97 minutes it's still a little too long with the simple human story becoming unnecessarily complicated. Despite the negative reviews it's received it's actually a well constructed and moving film with a few pleasant surprises along the way.