Collateral Beauty – Will Smith Confronts Love, Death & Time

Release Date: December 16, 2016
Running Time: 1hour and 36 minutes
Rated PG-13
Grade: B
Directed By: David Frankel

Love. Time. Death. Now these things connect every single human being on Earth.


Howard is a natural in advertising and the CEO of his New York advertising firm. He gives a passionate speech about how to sell to people using the following logic: we long for love, we wish we had more time, we fear death. His partners (Whit, Claire, and Simon) care deeply about Howard and believe in him, but everything changes when Howard loses his six year daughter. Howard emotionally and mentally withdraws from the firm, reality, and society as a whole, jeopardizing the firm since his charm is responsible for the maintenance of several major accounts.


As the success of the firm plummets, his partners devise a plan to save the company by feeding into the idiosyncrasy that Howard has turned to in order to cope with his loss. Whit hires a private investigator to find out what Howard does with his time. She learns that Howard has written letters to Death, Time, and Love to express how he feels about their role in death of his daughter. As a result, Whit convinces the other partners to hire actors to play Love, Time, and Death with the goal of exposing Howard’s incompetency to run the company.

As the plan unfolds not only do the actors help Howard with his healing, but they also assist the partners with demons that they are dealing with in their personal lives. When Death, Time, and Love force Howard to break free from his grief, he turns to a support group and its leader to find meaning and the collateral beauty in life.

You’ve been given a gift. This profound connection to everything.
Just look for it and I promise it’s there.

Warner Brothers Pictures, David Frankel, and the amazing cast give you a gift this holiday season. Just in time to brighten our holiday, as audiences are thirsting for an end of 2016 feel good film, Collateral Beauty swoops in and provides it. It is a profound film about death, time and love that is very thought-provoking, original and relatable.  The casting was nearly perfect with an amazing ensemble of newcomers and award winning actors, including Helen Mirren, Kate Winslet and Edward Norton. Will Smith renders one of his best dramatic performances to date as he cleverly transitioned from a confident entrepreneur to a grief stricken human being who has lost faith in life. Michael Pena‘s impressive performance is another example of his blossoming switch from comedy to drama.

collateral beauty

Written by Allan Loeb who is known for 21, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, and The Switch, Collateral Beauty combines all of his talent into a rather enjoyable 96 minutes that completely drew us in from the very first scene. Parts of the big reveal were pleasantly predictable, but overall we could not have guessed the ending. The dialogue was as crisp as a winter’s day and stocked full of quotable moments that will linger in our memories long after the film runs its course in the theaters.

The cinematography by Maryse Alberti captured the raw emotions of the characters, as well as the beauty of New York City from a female perspective while also honing in on the emotions of the male characters. Upon the film’s conclusion, the audience offered up applause so we know that they enjoyed the film as much as we did. We thoroughly enjoyed Collateral Beauty. With the right mix of humor, drama, poignant moments, clever dialogue and innovative screenplay combined with the outstanding cinematography and performances create a must see film this holiday season.

Tomorrow is not promised so please make time see this film today.

~Movie Buffette & A.S. MacLeod

Will Smith as Howard
Edward Norton as Whit
Kate Winslet as Claire
Michael Pena as Simon
Helen Mirren as Brigitte
Naomie Harris as Madeleine
Keira Knightley as Amy
Jacob Latimore as Raffi
Ann Dowd as Sally Price

I am the darkness and the light. I am the sunshine and the storm.
I am the reason for everything. ~ Love

About Leigh Ann Rassler