If there’s one positive takeaway from last month’s Suicide Squad it’s that, even with a questionable, wholly messy script underpinning the on-screen action, David Ayer’s anti-hero feature was a pointed reminder of Will Smith’s charismatic screen presence.
Sure, script tinkering ultimately resulted in Smith enjoying a greater role as Deadshot – at the cost of Scott Eastwood and the like – but there’s no denying that his quip-happy sharpshooter was one of the few highlights. Imagine our excitement, then, now that Will Smith is poised to muscle his way into this year’s Oscar race with the release of Collateral Beauty.
Hailing from director David Frankel (Dear Diary, The Devil Wears Prada), Collateral Beauty is a character-driven drama that finds Smith’s New York marketing executive Howard Inlet circling the jaws of full-blown depression. Leaning on writing letters as a therapeutic crutch, Howard longs to answer life’s big questions and, rather than penning notes to loved ones and friends, he instead addresses the three constants of life: Love, Death and Time. Much to his amazement, he meets the living embodiment of each ancient force, and it’s these interactions with Love (Keira Knightley), Death (Helen Mirren) and Time (Jacob Latimore) that may guide him back to a normal frame of mind.
Even if today’s teaser – which, at two minutes 30, is a fairly beefy teaser – tip-toes close to the melodramatic, Collateral Beauty boasts all of the qualities that ought to help Will Smith shine and, one would hope, deliver a performance that’s reminiscent of The Pursuit of Happyness.
Rounding out the jam-packed ensemble are Edward Norton (Birdman), Ant-Man‘s Michael Peña, Naomie Harris and Oscar-winner Kate Winslet. Collateral Beauty shots for Oscar glory when Frankel’s picture opens in theaters on December 26.