(2016) (Will Smith, Edward Norton) (PG-13)
- QUICK TAKE:
- Drama: Faced with losing contracts stemming from their colleague's lack of interest -- due to the man's six-year-old daughter having died two years ago -- a trio of ad executives try to prove his mental incompetency by hiring three actors to confront him as figures representing time, love, and death.
- Howard Inlet (WILL SMITH) was once the star player of the New York City-based advertising firm he co-owns with his friend, Whit Yardsham (EDWARD NORTON). But in the two years since the death of his 6-year-old daughter, Howard has become a ghost of his former self. He's disconnected from the rest of the world at home, while he does nothing but build elaborate domino runs at work. The latter has resulted in his clients jumping ship, something that isn't sitting well with Whit or the rest of his executive team comprised of Claire Wilson (KATE WINSLET) and Simon Scott (MICHAEL PENA).
Since Howard controls sixty percent of the company, they can't sell their firm to another, so Whit has hired private eye Sally Price (ANN DOWD) to document Howard's daily life in the hopes that they'll be able to prove he's no longer mentally competent to control the company. Sally reports that he sits at the dog park for hours each day despite not owning a dog, can't bring himself to join a grief support group run by Madeleine (NAOMIE HARRIS) who also lost her child at the age of six, and has written letters to Love, Time and Death to complain about his loss.
That's not quite enough for Whit to work with, but when he runs into a young actress, Aimee (KEIRA KNIGHTLEY), at a casting call, he follows her back to her small theater with an idea. He proposes to her and her two acting companions, Brigitte (HELEN MIRREN) and Raffi (JACOB LATIMORE), that they portray the characters of Love, Death and Time and confront Howard about the letters he wrote them. The goal is to have Sally record these interactions on video and then digitally erase the actors to make him appear to be talking to no one.
But as the actors go about their jobs, they also interact with the three executives and bring out issues they're facing. That includes Claire having sacrificed work in place of having a family of her own; Simon dealing with an illness that's returned and that he's kept secret from his wife and child; and Whit having an estranged relationship with his young daughter, Allison (KYLIE ROGERS), the result of him having an affair in the past that ended his marriage to Allison's mother.
- WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
- They might if they're fans of anyone in the large ensemble cast.
- WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
- For thematic elements and brief strong language.
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