What happens when you take an Academy Award-winning filmmaker, place them in charge of a drama designed to tug at the heartstrings and hire A-list megastar Will Smith, Oscar winners Helen Mirren and Kate Winslet, along with multi-time nominees Edward Norton and Keira Knightley, to round out the principal cast? In the case of Collateral Beauty, you get a cinematic dumpster fire.
The fantastical story is one of those movies you can tell has been precision-engineered and specifically designed with awards season glory in mind, but the core creative team apparently forgot that one of the pre-requisites for critical acclaim is making a film that doesn’t suck.
Smith headlines the ensemble as an advertising executive who retreats from his own existence, which forces his friends to try and reconnect with him while his grief inspires him to writer moving letters to Love, Time and Death, bringing replies that are as surprising as they are unexpected.
As you’d expect from the names involved, the performances aren’t Collateral Beauty‘s problem, but rather a preposterous narrative that plays silly hand after silly hand. A box office bomb and byword for self-indulgence, it’s somehow beginning to snake its way back up the HBO Max most-watched list, as per FlixPatrol.