Photo Credit: New Line Cinema
Only a scarce amount was known about Collateral Beauty until now, other than the vague plot teaser "A tragic event sends a New York ad man on a downward spiral" and that multiple stars went through the project before Will Smith, Keira Knightley, Helen Mirren and many others were locked in. But with a debut trailer now available, there is finally a clearer idea on what the film is really about.
According to the trailer, the tragic event that sends Smith downward is the loss of his daughter, causing him to write mysterious letters in his grief. However, things take a turn towards the fantastical when he gets answered back.
More and more movies have gender flipped roles usually played by men lately, and now it seems the trend continues with Mirren being a rare female Death, after men like Brad Pitt have played Death for decades. Yet while Death has often taken human form on screen, other concepts like Time and Love haven't had as many opportunities, but they do here with Knightley as Love and Jacob Latimore as Time.
If that wasn't enough, Kate Winslet, Edward Norton, Michael Pena and Naomie Harris make up what look to be the other human characters. Of course, the trailer touts that there are three Oscar Nominees and two winners in this group, although Harris is widely expected to become at least a nominee for her other upcoming film in Moonlight.
For that matter, Oscar nominees Hugh Jackman and Rooney Mara were the original leads when the project was announced, although they each had to drop out later. Between that and original director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon also giving way to The Devil Wears Prada director David Frankel, it took a bit of upheaval to get this far. Yet after all that, the movie's reward was getting the same release date in the U.S. as Rogue One.
While even Smith and his decorated co-stars can't fully overcome that box office obstacle, Collateral Beauty has now firmly established itself as the weepy, life-affirming alternative to Rogue One, and perhaps to all the other would-be holiday blockbusters. In any case, its tears and life lessons will start to fall on Dec. 16.