Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Collateral Beauty (4½ Stars)

Here we go again. It's another one of those films. I mean the films that prove that the critics have lost touch with the public. This is a wonderful film, deeply moving in its romantic moments. It's a box office success. The public loves it. I love it. But the critics hate it. I shan't even bother trying to explain to you what they don't like about it. I'll just say that they're wrong.

The film is about Howard Inlet, the founder of a highly successful New York trading company. He has three business partners, but it's his genius and his charisma that carry the company. His life changes when his six year old daughter dies. His marriage breaks up. He becomes depressive and unable to work any more. After two years his partners lose their patience and want to have him declared mentally incapable of running the company. They find out that he's written letters to Love, Time and Death, complaining about what they've done to him. The partners hire three actors from a small theatre company to pretend to be these entities. They also hire a private detective to film him when he meets and argues with these three people, in the hope of making him seem unbalanced.

I shan't say anything else about the plot. You can already imagine that as soon as Howard is convinced that they're who they're pretending to be they have a profound effect on him. Unexpectedly, the three actors also connect with the three partners, helping them deal with their respective problems.

For years I've never liked Will Smith as an actor. That's beginning to change. He's no longer typecast as the brash kid from the ghetto. As he's getting older he's playing more serious roles, like this one. The film features several of my favourite actors, but Will Smith stands above them.

I repeat once more. This is a wonderful film, so don't let anything the critics say put you off watching it.

Order from Amazon.co.uk
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