FOR THE PAST DECADE PLUS, SEVERAL YEARS HAVE HAD ONE PECULIAR TYPE OF FILM FOR A QUARTERFINALIST FOR OUR AWARDS: A MISERABLY FAILED ATTEMPT AT TAILORING A FILM TO WIN AWARDS AT ALL THE MAJOR BEST-OF-THE-YEAR SHOWS. SOME CASES IN POINT INCLUDE MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA IN 2005, ELIZABETH: THE GOLDEN AGE IN 2007, NOBEL SON IN 2008, AMELIA IN 2009, THE TOURIST IN 2010, MADONNA’S W./E. IN 2011-012, WINNIE MANDELA IN 2013, AND BY THE SEA IN 2015. THIS YEAR, OUR OBLIGATORY OSCAR BAITER IS… COLLATERAL BEAUTY, WITH AN ENSEMBLE CAST LED BY WILL SMITH AND HELEN MIRREN. OSCAR BAITERS RARELY MAKE IT FAR IN THE RAZZIE RACE, BUT IF YOU’RE FRUSTRATED WITH THE SMITH FAMILY, CHANCES ARE YOU HOPE THIS AUTUMN WILL BE DIFFERENT.
A SUCCESSFUL EXECUTIVE AT A NEW YORKISH ADVERTISING FIRM FALLS BACK INTO A SELF-CONTAINED WORLD IN HIS OWN IMAGINATION WHEN GREAT TRAGEDY STRIKES HIM. HIS DAUGHTER IS SUDDENLY KILLED! AS IS EXPECTED, HIS FRIENDS GET WORRIED ABOUT HIM, TRY TO REACH HIM, AND LOSE. HE ENDS UP WRITING LETTERS TO FICTIONAL CHARACTERS SIMILAR TO EROS, KRONOS, AND THANATOS, THE GREEK DEITIES OF LOVE, TIME, AND DEATH. WHEN A SURROGATE (UNFORTUNATELY NOT AS COOL AS A MEDIUM TO THE DEITIES WOULD BE) WRITES SOME RESPONSES BACK TO HIM, HE FINALLY REALIZES THAT AFTER LIVING LIFE TO THE FULLEST, MANY CONSTANT TRENDS INTERLOCK, AND FROM THE ASHES OF THE DEEPEST LOSS CAN RISE BEAUTY AND MEANING.
…OR SO THE TRAILER SAYS! THE REAL PLOT IS REVEALED IN THE FIRST 1/3 HOUR OF RUN TIME, AND WHILE IT’S DEBATABLE WHETHER THIS NEXT PART IS A SPOILER, THERE’S NO DOUBT THAT THE MARKETERS BILKED US! THE REAL STORY INVOLVES HIS COWORKERS TELLING 3 ACTORS TO DISGUISE THEMSELVES AS EROS, KRONOS, AND THANATOS, WHO THEN TALK TO WILL SMITH IN THE ILLUSION OF HELPING HIM RECONCILE HIS GRIEF. INSTEAD, THOSE TREACHEROUS BACKSTABBERS HE MISTOOK FOR FRIENDS PLAN TO EDIT THOSE 3 DEITIES-IN-THE-FLESH OUT OF THE FOOTAGE, MAKE SMITH’S CHARACTER LOOK SCHIZOPHRENIC, AND CON SOMEONE INTO COMMITTING HIM TO A MENTAL HOSPITAL JUST TO GET HIM OUT OF THE WAY WHEN HIS MOODINESS STARTS DESTROYING THE COMPANY. JUST HOW BAD ARE THEY AT SOLVING A PROBLEM? MORE IMPORTANTLY, HOW CAN THEY JUSTIFY TOYING WITH MENTAL HEALTH TO GET SOMEONE FALSELY COMMITTED?
THE SECOND WORST WEEPER OF THE YEAR NEXT TO “THE CHOICE” FROM BACK IN FEBRUARY, IT CARRIES THAT OBVIOUS OSCAR-BAITER FEEL, THE CHARACTER DESIGNS ARE ONLY SUPERFICIALLY BEAUTIFUL, AND THE ENSEMBLE CAST IS QUITE A BIT OVERQUALIFIED FOR THIS JOB. BUT DON’T LET ME OFFER UP COLLATERAL BEAUTY TO THE DEITIES OF HARVEST AND WILD RAZZIE FRUITS AS COLLATERAL ALONE. IF YOU CAN ARGUE FOR WHY IT SHOULD TAKE THE LEAD FOR THE RAZZIES AT THE LAST MINUTE, MAKE THE SITUATION GET UGLY ON COLLATERAL BEAUTY BELOW!
I haven't seen it yet but I heard on a movie film podcast the particularly important plotline (the hired actors scheme) that's not in the trailer that really makes this one look even worse than I expected.
I think I may have gotten cancer of the soul just by watching the trailer alone. I will have to wait until it comes to DVD at the library before viewing as I don't want the studio or Will Smith to get any direct money from me.
At least, it has one of the worst literal titles of 2016.
Gabriel Bahamondes (3/7): "Beyond Will Smith's adequate performance, it's Helen Mirren who's in charge of giving the movie a loveable and endearing tone. From the moment she appears on screen, the movie starts making sense and makes it clear that, behind that exagerated and tear-inducing cloak, there are a couple of interesting ideas."
Ernesto Garratt V. (2/5): "Basic and without complexity in its simplistic essence, this movie is like walking through a field of recently-peeled onions: The burst of tears is caused by textbook situations that leave great actors like Kate Winslet, Edward Norton or Helen Mirren mostly repeating mushy, self-help dialogue. However, inside its heart, it's a well-intentioned story whose flaws can be forgiven."
Just Saying: On the 'ahem' ballot just released, there are THREE (acclaimed) actresses (Kate Winslet, Helen Mirren, and Keira Knightley) on the shortlist for Worst Supporting Actress, yet NO ONE in the CB cast (including Edward Norton and Michael Pena) was listed for Worst Supporting Actor... #RazziesSoSexist
The 2016 Razzies ballot/nominee list were the WORST EVER! #firejohnbwilson