IMDB says: Retreating from life after a tragedy, a man questions the universe by writing to Love, Time and Death. Receiving unexpected answers, he begins to see how these things interlock and how even loss can reveal moments of meaning and beauty.
In this David Frankel (The Devil Wears Prada, Marley and Me) directed film written by Allan Loeb (The Switch, Just Go With It), Will Smith (Men In Black, I Am Legend) stars as Howard a bereaved father who's business colleagues Whit (Edward Norton: Fight Club, American History X), Claire (Kate Winslet: Titanic, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) and Simon (Michael Peña: The Martian, Ant-Man) decide to hire three actors to answer the letters he is writing to Love, Time and Death, what he feels are the three abstractions in life that have betrayed him. Stocks in their company are going down as Howard refuses to deal with his personal accounts and this is a last-ditch attempt to save their company by selling it at a loss by proving that Howard is mentally incapacitated.
The actors they hire are Brigitte (Helen Mirren: The Queen, RED) as Death, Amy (Keira Knightley: Love Actually, Bend it like Beckham) as Love and Raffi (Jacob Latimore: The Maze Runner, Sleight) as Time and they interact with Howard, making him question everything including whether to attend a child bereavement support group run by Madeline (Naomie Harris: Skyfall, Moonlight).
This is a beautiful movie which takes you through all the emotions associated with loss and grief. I had not expected much with the negative reviews, but this is a film that makes you question everything, just like you do when you lose someone you love. There are phenomenal performances throughout from all and yes this is not a blockbuster, or thrill ride, but this film packs a punch nonetheless. It will make you cry and there are some subtle twists made more significant by the excellent acting, spot-on emotional quotes and hilarious one liners, for example: "I thought you couldn't afford therapy anymore." "I can't. It was my Uber driver." "Be sure to notice the collateral beauty. It is the profound connection to everything." "I am love. I am the fabric of life. I am the only 'why'... I was there in her laugh but I am also here now in your pain. Do not try to live without me."
Although not released in December, this film could easily become a classic Christmas movie of the future, for it takes place in the run up to Christmas and there are shades of 'It's a Wonderful Life' about it in that it teaches you life lessons on difficult subjects in a non-preaching way and it makes you cry....buckets. Don't forget the tissues.
Trivia: Hugh Jackman was originally attached to star, but dropped out due to scheduling conflicts, and was later replaced by Will Smith. Will Smith praised the whole cast by saying, "If we are all judged by the company we keep ... then I want this cast with me for life!" The loss of a loved one in this movie's theme was reflected in reality for Will Smith, in that his father Willard Carroll Smith, Sr. was dying while Will was researching his role. He has said that working on the film was extremely therapeutic in helping him deal with the ultimate loss of his dad.
Tagline: We are all connected. 7/10
#CollateralBeauty #Odeon #WillSmith #KateWinslet #EdwardNorton #NaomieHarris #MichaelPeña