The move “Collateral Beauty” is a masterfully well crafted production. It is a small, intimate, and tenderly presented story of individual suffering, and all the lives that touches, told as a series of individual vignettes. But because the many disparate threads are so skillfully woven into a seamless whole, supporting and reinforcing one another, the whole becomes greater than the sum of its parts in a heartwarming gestalt.
Each of the three lives supporting the central characters provides its own challenges. And in a beautiful symmetry, three unlikely muses personify and exemplify each difficulty. But at no time does any character dissolve into a stereotype but rather becomes more well rounded turning misfortune into opportunity and ultimately finding a fulfillment not previously thought possible.
Surprises abound as the production toys with other-worldly influences in a manner that never truly resolves the issue between random chance and divinely merciful purpose. But for all that the story is everywhere convincing never straining to achieve a “willing suspension of disbelief”.
The casting is excellent with players perfectly suited to their roles. The acting, by some of the best in the business, is truly outstanding. It may not be too much to opine that it is the best some of them have ever accomplished. Production values are understated and adequate.
The denouement leaves all but the truly heartless in tears not just of joy and triumph but also in new understandings and respect for life with all of its varied twists and turns. All in all, I would recommend this small and unassuming story as a delightful interlude from the ordinary cares of daily life.