Boulevard Blu-ray Review
There is a pall that hovers around BOULEVARD. We all know what happened to Robin Williams after this and it affects how you view the film. You look for clues or anything that indicates what will come. Williams will always be known as a comedian first and rightfully so. But his dramatic work over the years is quite impressive. He did quality work in such varied projects as “Good Will Hunting”, “Dead Poets Society”, “Insomnia”, “One Hour Photo” and “The Night Listener”. Once again he does good work in BOULEVARD, but it is too bad that the story doesn’t quite take off to match his performance.
Williams plays Nolan Mack, a bank employee who has worked there for over 20 years. His life has become quite routine. He loves his wife Joy (Kathy Baker), but they now sleep in separate bedrooms. He enjoys hanging out with his good friend Winston (Bob Odenkirk) and his new girlfriend Patty (Eleonore Hendricks). Nolan is also taking care of his father at a nursing home. Everything seems right and normal on the surface. And things are looking up with a possible promotion.
But Nolan though somehow feels unfilled. He has passed the age of 60. He has a comfortable life. Nolan goes out driving one night. He’s in his own little world. He goes down a street populated with male and female prostitutes. He picks up a young guy named Leo (Roberto Aguire). They go to a hotel and Nolan really does not know what he wants to do with Leo. He fumbles with the coffee maker and tries to make small talk. It awakens him, but we do not know fully what the relationship is like at first.
Nolan starts to act more and more reckless. He tells Joy lies on where he’s been. One of those lies comes back to haunt him when the diner where he was supposed to be at had actually closed down. He gets a phone just so Leo can reach him. He also gets involved when a guy tries to beat up Leo for money. This confrontation gets Nolan a shiner for his troubles. This leads to more lies for Joy and his friend Winston. Both of them know he is lying, but they don’t know what he is going through.
Director Dito Montiel and Screenwriter Douglas Soesbe try to paint a tale of guy coming to grips with his sexuality at a late age. It just never quite comes together. We don’t know what makes Nolan tick. We don’t know his motivations and what his breaking point finally was. It just happens on the screen with various scenes blending together with no momentum. Williams is good at showing his anguish and embarrassment at hiding his secret. He is definitely not the problem here.
Nolan wants to help out Leo in his situation. He gets him a job where Patti works. Their perspective worlds are about to come to an uncomfortable medium. Nolan wants more out of his relationship with Leo than Leo is prepared to enter into. Leo does not like trying to confront his feelings and more comfortable with the physical part of a relationship. Nolan is the opposite. He wants a connection on a human level, but not on physical level.
BOULEVARD never really surprises in any turn it takes. It only serves as a curiosity piece since it is one of Williams’s last performances.
Video: The video is solid throughout.
Audio: The sound could have been a lot better. It was bit muffled and hard to hear.
There were no extras to speak of.