Collateral Beauty is Designed to Break Your Heart
Director Dave Frankel's Collateral Beauty is poised to make a big splash when it premieres on December 16. The film is about Howard (Will Smith) a successful New York advertising executive who retreats from his life after losing his child. His friends and colleagues are desperate to get him to re-connect with life, but all Howard seems to want to do is demand the universe itself give him answers. He goes about this by writing letters to Love, Time and Death. While this behavior could probably be accurately unpacked by a pyschologist, the part that would be nearly impossible to explain is the fact that Howard's notes bring unexpected personal responses from these immaterial entities (made flesh by a trio of incredible actors), forcing him to understand how these constants interlock in a life fully lived. Keira Knightley plays Love, Jacob Latimore plays Time, and Helen Mirren plays Death (this bit of casting is just too perfect, making Death seem like someone you'd actually like to meet).
The all-star cast also includes Edward Norton, Michael Peña, Naomie Harris, and Kate Winslet. The script is by Allan Loeb. The film, nestled right in the heart of Oscar season, seems designed to break your heart, then piece it back together.