Collateral Beauty | Helen Mirren’s twinkly wit salvages Will Smith’s drippy tearjerker

Collateral Beauty Will Smith Helen Mirren

We are all connected.

Left bereft by the death of his six-year-old daughter two years earlier, brilliant advertising executive Will Smith has given up on life and work, and spends his time building elaborate domino chains and penning angry letters to Love, Time and Death.

Unsurprisingly, his company is about to go under. So despairing colleagues Edward Norton, Kate Winslet and Michael Peña hit upon the bizarre stratagem of hiring three actors (Keira Knightley, Jacob Latimore and Helen Mirren) to impersonate Love, Death and Time and jolt their boss out of his grief.

Despite the best efforts of a stellar cast, absurdly drippy fable Collateral Beauty makes about as much sense as its daft title. More worryingly, a mercenary streak fatally undermines the film’s would-be wise and noble sentiments about loss and bereavement – the schemers being motivated as much by the prospect of getting rich from the successful sale of the company as by concern for their colleague. Still, The Devil Wears Prada director David Frankel gives the proceedings a glossy sheen, while Mirren proves the pick of the cast, selling its wackadoodle premise with twinkly wit.

Certificate 12A. Runtime 97 mins. Director David Frankel

Collateral Beauty debuts on Sky Cinema Premiere on 24 November. Available on Blu-ray, DVD & Digital from Warner Home Video.