Robin Williams’ final film reminds us that he was more than just a brilliant comic actor. Telling the story of Nolan (Robin Williams), a 60-year-old bank employee who suddenly decides to stop hiding his homosexuality. When driving down a new street one night, Nolan stumbles upon young street hustler, Leo (Roberto Aguire), and a sympathetic relationship begins, but Nolan’s own frustrations and confusion about his desires and obligations puts everything at risk. Though slow-moving and solemn, Boulevard is a welcome and tender look at a recycled storyline.
This movie isn’t for everyone, it’s barely for anyone except a slim set of folk who can truly find good in anything. The idea of a mid-life crisis and a long overdue coming out of the closet are almost hackneyed ideas in this day and age, but Boulevard tries to take a different approach to the topic and for that the film deserves some kudos. However, the approach seems to be an emotionally disjointed film full of underdeveloped characters and an unremarkable storyline.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with the plot, but it’s dull and unremarkable. It’s a story that’s delivered in a way that seems better suited to prose rather than film, and the impressive cast of actors doesn’t help improve the film.
Visually lovely to look at, and filled with perfectly framed scenes that aim to draw the audience’s emotions, Boulevard also toys with that age-old story of the older man and younger woman and flips it on its side by making it about an older man and a younger man instead. The dynamic isn’t as romantic as the hetero-gendered pairings are made to be, but it’s tender enough to tug at even the iciest heartstrings.
Despite the slow moving plot, Boulevard is a great example of comic actors showing off their dramatic acting chops. It’s always a thrill to see previously typecast actors proving themselves real thespians and both Robin Williams as well as Bob Odenkirk prove their skills in this movie. They’ve both done it before, but it’s always nice to be reminded that Williams’ death was a loss not only to the world of comedy, but also to the world of drama.
Is Boulevard opening weekend worthy?
Boulevard requires a lot of patience and dedication and isn’t the sort of movie that will give you a climactic happy ending. It’s slow, quiet and reserved, and it doesn’t do anything that millions of other movies haven’t already done before. It’s not unpleasant and features a great cast, so though spending cash on this film won’t guarantee you a win, it won’t be a loss either.
Boulevard opens Friday, August 14, 2015 at The Royal. Check their website for more information.