The films Robin Williams completed before his death beside Boulevard include, The Angriest Man in Brooklyn, A Merry Friggin’ Christmas, and Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, but these films have already been released. Remaining unrelesed is Absolutely Anything, and Williams only contributes his voice, which in his case is not necessarily a small contribution. Case in point Aladdin. But after this last project, there will be no more new opporunities to relish the talents of Robin Williams. That alone is enough reason to see Boulevard.
The subject matter of Boulevard seems almost outdated at this point. A married man of advanced years finally deals with his homosexuality. Most recently, this was addressed in Beginners (2010), in which Christopher Plummer finally tells his son he is gay and has a lover. With shows like HBO’s much acclaimed Transparent, with Bruce Jenner at age 66 becoming Caitlyn on national television and press, with Miley Cyrus kissing a girl and liking it, it’s absolutely archaic to have any attitude other than accepting and embracing toward anyone’s sexuality, dress or hormore preference.
But Williams’ Nolan Mack has remained closeted until, by chance, he drives on a street he didn’t know and he meets a young man. Unfortunately, Mack has denied his true self for so long, he is not sexually available, and the young, street-wise man is not emotionally available. These factors inevitably lead to obsession and desperation. It’s a sad story about a man in a prison of his own making who may just have a chance at breaking out of it. But nothing is easy.
It’s painful to watch Williams in this drama, specially so since it’s his last appearance, and he is completely convincing in the part – lonely, sexually repressed, inately guilty and ashamed, his true self hidden behind a socially acceptable persona. A final goodbye to Robin Williams.
Director: Dito Montiel
Writer: Douglas Soesbe
Cast: Robin Williams, Bob Odenkirk, Kathy Baker, Roberto Aguire, Eleonore Hendricks, Giles Matthey, J. Karen Thomas
Time: 90 min
Opening Friday, July 17, at the Opera Plaza Cinemas in San Francisco and the Shattuck Cinemas in Berkeley.