Collateral Beauty

Collateral Beauty (2016). Dir. David Frankel


Amy / Love (Keira Knightley): “I’m the reason for everything. If you can accept that, then maybe you get to live again”.

I have read some (stupid) bad reviews about this amazing film. I doubt that all those people who left bad reviews are parents who have experienced the indescribable, gigantic, and unconditional love that a parent feels for his/her children. Clearly, they didn’t get the film! Also, this is a movie of many layers: there are many turns and twists, and that’s what makes this movie brilliant. But apparently only few people got the story.

Collateral Beauty is a beautiful, strong & deep movie that talks about parenthood, love, life & death. Don’t expect car races, fights, guns & superficiality! This is a movie that will make you think, will make you cry and will make you learn to accept the tragedies of life.

Collateral Beauty arrived to Spain on December 23, and I was dying to go and see it, because I am a huge fan of Will Smith. I find him very cool, sexy and fascinating: he is handsome, he is exciting, he is funny, and he is artistic. But the most sexy thing that I found about Will is that he is a loving father and a loving husband. As much as I love to see his muscles and his beautiful smile in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Bad Boys, Men in Back, Wild Wild West, Ali, I, Robot, Hitch, I Am Legend or Focus, I must say that my favorite Will movie is, definitely, The Pursuit of Happyness. Finally, I couldn’t go to the cinema that Friday, because I have three children (A girl, a boy and a little girl, ages 10, 8, and 3) and I had to bring them to the swimming pool and to Taekwondo, so I ran to the cinema only yesterday, Saturday the 24th. And I loved the film.

I stopped watching Trailers before having watched the movie, because the Trailers really ruin the movie for you. So, I didn’t have a clue regarding what Collateral Beauty was about, and I was very touched and surprised.

Will’s performance in Collateral Beauty is breathtaking! He is phenomenal. His eyes have so much pain and so much sadness that you can really feel his sorrow. Edward Norton is OK, Kate Winslet finally managed to get her American accent right (it took her almost 20 years!), and Michael Peña is good enough. I loved the fact that Keira Knightley kept her British accent. Jacob Latimore (I didn’t know him) is great, and Helen Mirren and Naomie Harris are absolutely amazing (Naomie is an spectacular actress: saw her in Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom and her portray of Winnie took my breath away).

I was very surprised to read today that Will didn’t get a Golden Globe nomination for his portrayal of Howard and that the movie didn’t get any nomination so far. Oh, well, awards can be really stupid…

Go watch this amazing film today! But don’t forget to bring some tissues!

The best: Will Smith, Naomie Harris, the message of hope (stand up after a horrible personal tragedy), and the dominoes.

The worst: nothing.

cropped-antonia-dalit-2.jpg Antonia Tejeda Barros, Madrid, December 25, 2016

The Pursuit of Happyness

The Pursuit of Happyness (2006). Dir. Gabriele Muccino

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Chris (Will Smith): Don’t ever let somebody tell you you can’t do something. Not even me. All right?

Christopher (Jaden Smith): All right.

Chris: You got a dream, you gotta protect it. People can’t do somethin’ themselves, they wanna tell you you can’t do it. If you want somethin’, go get it. Period.

Tengo que confesar que estoy ridículamente embobada con Will Smith, un actor y rapper deliciosamente sexy, simpático, divertido y cool. He comprado recientemente muchas de sus películas y CDs. Sólo hace poco he empezado a ver The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air con mis hijos, y nos encanta (sí, por suerte no lo vi en los 90 en la TV, porque hubiera visto a Will doblado al español, qué horror, con esas voces tan postizas que siguen usando aquí en España –que son las mismas de los anuncios de desodorantes y compresas). Así que compré esta película sólo porque la protagonizaba Will. Y la película me ha impactado profundamente.

The Pursuit of Happyness (sí, con “Y”: esto es por un graffiti mal escrito que hay pintado en la pared de la deprimente guardería de Christopher) es una de las mejores películas que he visto: profunda, emotiva, sorprendente, triste y divertida. The Pursuit of Happyness llega profundamente al corazón y nos hace valorar lo que tenemos, incluidos nuestros propios sueños. No es una película deprimente. Es una película que habla de esperanza, amor, supervivencia, paternidad y sueños.

The Pursuit of Happyness está basada en una historia real: la historia de Chris Gardner y su lucha por vivir decentemente sin tener que separarse de su hijo. El verdadero Chris Gardner estuvo presente en todo el rodaje de la película.

Will Smith fue nominado al Oscar por su brillante interpretación. Definitivamente, esta es una de las mejores interpretaciones de la carrera de Will (posiblemente la mejor), junto a sus impresionantes interpretaciones de Muhammad Ali en Ali (2001) y del Dr. Bennet Omalu en Concussion (2015).

Chris Gardner pensó en un principio que Will no podía encarnarle. Pero su hija Jacintha le dijo: “If Smith can play Muhammad Ali, he can play you!“.

La interpretación de Jaden Smith es también impresionante. Jaden no era la primera elección, ni mucho menos. El director Gabriele Muccino escuchó alrededor de 250 niños, pero confesó que todos eran “monos” y correctos (cute and fine). El problema era que Muccino no estaba buscando un niño “mono”, sino un niño que pudiera ser real. Después de una semana, Muccino le pidió a Will si su hijo Jaden podía leer con él y, cuando lo hizo, quedó impresionado. El amor entre padre e hijo en la vida real puede definitivamente respirarse en la película. Jaden –quien interpreta a un niño de 5 años– tenía 8 cuando rodaron la película. El verdadero Christopher (el hijo de Chris Gardner), sin embargo, era sólo un bebé cuando Chris vivió los acontecimientos que ocurren en la película.

Lo mejor: la brillante interpretación de Will, la triste escena del lavabo, las carreras de Will, la fresca interpretación de Jaden, y la escena de la oficina hacia el final de la película.

Lo peor: nada.

The Pursuit of Happyness / Trailer

cropped-antonia-dalit-2.jpg Antonia Tejeda Barros, Madrid, 11 de septiembre de 2016

Chris (Will Smith): Don’t ever let somebody tell you you can’t do something. Not even me. All right?

Christopher (Jaden Smith): All right.

Chris: You got a dream, you gotta protect it. People can’t do somethin’ themselves, they wanna tell you you can’t do it. If you want somethin’, go get it. Period.

I have to confess that I have a big crush on Will Smith, an actor and rapper who I find super sexy, nice, funny, and cool. I’ve recently bought many of his movies and albums. I am only now discovering, together with my kids, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (Yes, I didn’t watch it in the 90s!). So, I bought this movie just because Will is in it. And I was blown away by the movie.

The Pursuit of Happyness (yes, with a “Y”: that’s because of a misspelled graffiti on the wall of Christopher’s depressing  day-care) is one of the best movies I have ever seen. The film  is touching, surprising, sad and funny. The Pursuit of Happyness will break your heart and will make you value what you have. But this is not a depressing movie. It is a movie about hope, love, survival, fatherhood, and about never giving up your dreams.

The Pursuit of Happyness is based on a true story: the story of Chris Gardner and his struggle for a decent life while keeping his son next to him at all times. The real Chris Gardner was present throughout the shooting and discussed several things with Will and director Gabriele Muccino.

Will Smith was nominated for an Oscar for his breathtaking performance of Chris Gardner. That’s definitely one of the best performances of Will’s career (if not the best), together with his stunning portrayals of Muhammad Ali in Ali (2001) and Dr. Bennet Omalu in Concussion (2015).

Chris Gardner first thought that Will was miscast to play him, but his daughter Jacintha told him: “If Smith can play Muhammad Ali, he can play you!”.

Jaden Smith’s performance is also amazing. He wasn’t cast in the film right away. Director Gabriele Muccino saw some 250 kids and he said that they were all cute and fine. The problem was that Muccino wasn’t looking for a cute and fine little boy, but for a little boy who could be real. After a week, Muccino asked Will if his son Jaden could read for him, and, when he did, Muccino was amazed. The love that father and son have for each other in real life can be definitely felt in the movie. Jaden, who portrays a 5 year old Christopher, was 8 years old when the movie was shot and released. The real Christopher (Chris Gardner’s son), however, was just a baby at the time of the real events.

The best: Will’s brilliant performance, the toilet scene, Will’s running, Jaden’s fresh performance, and the board room scene towards the end of the movie.

The worst: nothing.

The Pursuit of Happyness Trailer

cropped-antonia-dalit-2.jpg Antonia Tejeda Barros, Madrid, September 11, 2016