Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The First Trailer for "Boulevard" Says Farewell to Robin Williams With Heart

Robin Williams
Among the many tragedies last year, we lost the charismatic actor Robin Williams. With a long and storied career full of amazing performances, the death ended his career with a lot of potential still left. Among his final roles is director Dito Montiel, whose film Boulevard holds the honor of being his final dramatic turn. With the first trailer out, it is hard not to question how it summarizes an impressive career and if it will serve as a cinematic farewell to a legend on par with John Wayne in The Shootist. For the most part, it at least looks like we might just get that opportunity.

Since Williams' death in August, there have been a few random comedies that have come out including The Angriest Man in Brooklyn and A Merry Friggin' Christmas. As one can guess from those titles, they were more in the vein of his comedy style. While it would seem fitting for a funny man to end on a comedy, it also seems to undermine him to not have at least one or two final surprises in him. This is where Boulevard comes in. While the actor started in comedy, he would end up making far more of an impressive turn in drama, even earning an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for Good Will Hunting. Still, his career since has been a balance between light and dark, with the latter receiving an unappreciative focus.

Here's the trailer for his final film:

Looks good. There seems to be too much emphasis on this being his last film to judge the trailer properly. It hits a series of familiar dramatic beats and there's nothing necessarily extraordinary being done by Williams. This isn't to say that it doesn't look good. On the contrary. It is just one that looks like a wholesome drama.

Here's the plot description according to IMDb:
A devoted husband in a marriage of convenience is forced to confront his secret life.
It seems strikingly meta for a comedian who battled with depression so privately. However, it will be interesting to see if this film holds any public attention when it is released. While this isn't his first posthumous film, his work has remained fairly below the radar compared to fellow 2014 loss Philip Seymour Hoffman. However, this seems like a film prone to be in the Oscars discussion, even if it is just an average drama. With positive reviews being scattered throughout the trailer, it feels like an implicit cue for viewers to consider this. Much like how Peter Fonda won Best Actor for On Golden Pond posthumously, one can only imagine the fate of this movie.

The only thing is that it seems crass to call this movie a success or failure based on whether he gets nominated. Still, it would be interesting if there was a surprisingly effective farewell performance hidden here. It would create something more resonating than an actor whose last few films have been low key. Even then, I feel like it would be important just to share this trailer and remember a legend who did phenomenal work. Here's hoping that he can wow us one last time.

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