Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Friday, June 23, 2017

BOULEVARD

Roberto Aguire and Robin Williams
BOULEVARD (2014). Director: Dito Montiel.

In an early scene in this study of a closeted married man, the main character, banker Nolan Mack (Robin Williams), talks pleasantly to two clients who have just taken out a loan: a gay male couple who have just bought a house and are looking forward to a future together. Nolan has much less to look forward to; he realized he was gay at 12 -- he is now 60 -- and has repressed it, marrying his wife, Joy (Kathy Baker), whom he sincerely loves but feels no true passion for. Driving along the boulevard one night he nearly runs over Leo (Roberto Aguire), a hustler who expects sex for cash but finds himself in the odd position of having a new friend who tries hard to help him. Meanwhile, Nolan's growing feelings for Leo begin to jeopardize not only his relationship with his wife, but his job and promotion at the bank. Boulevard is far from a perfect film -- we learn too little about Leo, and don't get enough of Joy's side of things -- but it is an absorbing look at the lives of homosexual men who make one choice in life and live to regret it with each new day and the ever-changing attitudes toward gay relationships. The performances are wonderful, not only from the three leads, but also from Henry Haggard as Nolan's boss; Bob Odenkirk as Nolan's understanding best friend; and Giles Matthey in an almost over-the-top turn as Leo's nasty and violent pimp. The film gets points for not having an unrealistic or cop-out ending, and it is also good that the hustler is a pleasant-looking individual but not a super-hot Hollywood-style hunk.

Verdict: Interesting look at the lives of older gay men who are nearly left behind. ***.

4 comments:

angelman66 said...

I liked this movie a lot, too, actually; it is a poignant last performance by the versatile Robin Williams. A lifelong depressive, he uses that inner sadness to bring this interesting character to life. A very low-key film, but one I enjoyed, and now you have made me want to watch again.
-C

William said...

I didn't know what to expect of this movie, which I came across by accident and had not been aware of, but I was pleasantly surprised. Williams was excellent. His kind of cartoon-like face doesn't seem suited for drama, yet he's always talented enough for his looks not to make a difference no matter what the story. So many men in this situation. I always feel sorry for them and for their wives.

Douglas Soesbe said...

I wrote this movie, and I'm pleased by your comments. Thanks.

William said...

Thank you for writing a movie that deals so intelligently with the issues, Douglas!