• Todd Puhl

Movie Review: Collateral Beauty

Updated: May 28, 2019

"Just be sure to notice the collateral beauty. It's the profound connection to everything."


Will Smith has such a large range of acting. So when I saw the trailer for this film, I knew I had to see it. I am not a huge fan of drama's, but after 7 pounds and Pursuit of Happiness, I could not pass on this film.


Successful advertising executive Howard Inlet (Will Smith) is reduced to a clinically depressed, borderline suicidal loner after his young daughter's tragic death. His estranged friends and business partners, Whit Yardshaw (Edward Norton), Claire Wilson (Kate Winslet), and Simon Scott (Michael Peña) fear for Howard's mental health as well as their company's future, as Howard's erratic behavior has cost them numerous high-profile clients and left them on the verge of bankruptcy; as the majority shareholder, Howard has also undermined their efforts to sell the company.

The trio hires a private investigator, Sally Price (Ann Dowd), to acquire evidence that Howard is unfit to run the company, allowing them to take control. Sally intercepts Howard's letter about abstract concepts of Love, Time and Death, and presents them to Whit, Claire and Simon. They hire a trio of struggling actors - Amy (Keira Knightley), Raffi (Jacob Latimore) and Brigitte (Helen Mirren) - to masquerade as Love, Time, and Death to confront Howard about his letters. Their plan is for Sally to record these encounters and then digitally erase Amy, Raffi and Brigitte to make Howard appear mentally unbalanced, enabling them to sell the company.

The film really reaches out to you as you walk through Howard's journey of success and then pain. I personally know a lot of people who have been similar situations where the grief just was crippling. Will Smith puts 110% into this film so that every step he took in Howard's shoes, you took. Every moment of pain he felt, you felt.


The film hits a home run for a lot of actors who fell out of the limelight in years(Mirren, Knightly, Winslet) and some that are still coming into it(Pena). The film was also brilliantly launched at the correct time, during the holidays, so it gave the audience to break away from the typical Christmas movies or even blockbuster action films, so they can watch a solid "feel good" movie.

If you missed the film in the theater, I suggest you rent this in VOD or watch it on Netflix when it comes out.

#collateralbeauty #willsmith

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