End Credits: Boulevard

Plus Eddie the Eagle

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If Robin Williams’s death is still all too raw, you are in for an emotional ride down Boulevard, in which he plays his final role. The film was made in 2014 and first screened in the US just months before the actor’s tragic suicide. Its mixed reception led to a struggle for UK distribution and the cinema release has been set back until next week.

Best loved for his genius comedic roles such as Aladdin’s Genie and Mrs Doubtfire, Williams never shied away from serious roles, such as inspiring English teacher John Keating in Dead Poets Society and the insightful shrink Sean McGuire in Good Will Hunting, played with equal aplomb.

It’s with bitter irony that Williams stars as a lost middle-aged man in Boulevard. Sixty-year-old Nolan has worked in an unchallenging job as a low-level banker for almost half his life and has a comfortable but uninspiring home life with wife Joy (Kathy Baker). When he meets and falls in love with a gay prostitute he struggles to come to terms with his sexuality but channels his energy into saving love interest Leo (Roberto Aguire) from the dark world he’s embroiled in, in an attempt to hold onto some semblance of control and responsibility by the former family man. “This story reminds us of how difficult it is to find fulfillment,” said Williams poignantly.

Boulevard may not be the best film Williams starred in but it is one of his most nuanced and challenging roles. Previously having played a cross-dresser (Mrs Doubtfire) and a gay man (the Birdcage) with plenty of “comedic” stereotyping it’s liberating to see Williams addressing the role in a way, you get the sense, he wanted to all along.

On a lighter PG note Jim Broadbent, Christoper Walken and Hugh Jackman make a versatile supporting cast to Taron Egerton’s Michael “Eddie the Eagle” Edwards in Eddie the Eagle. It’s a thoughtful biopic that plays homage to, without poking fun at, the quirky British Olympian.

Antonia Charlesworth

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