Boulevard (2014 film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Dito Montiel|
|Written by||Douglas Soesbe|
|Edited by||Jake Pushinsky|
|Distributed by||Starz Digital|
Boulevard is a 2014 American drama film directed by Dito Montiel and written by Douglas Soesbe. Starring Robin Williams, Kathy Baker, Roberto Aguire, Eleonore Hendricks, Giles Matthey and Bob Odenkirk, the film premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 20, 2014. The film was released on July 10, 2015 in a limited release by Starz Digital.
Nolan Mack has worked at the same bank for almost 26 years in a life of monotony. He and his wife Joy have embraced their marriage as a convenient and comfortable distraction from facing reality. However one day, what starts as an aimless drive down an unfamiliar street turns into a life-altering decision for Nolan when he meets a troubled young hustler named Leo on his drive home from visiting his ailing father at a hospital.
Nolan begins to seek Leo out and spend time with him. The relationship is never consummated, but they spend hours talking. As Nolan spends more time with Leo, he finds himself breaking from the confines of his old life and coming to terms with who he really is. He begins to behave out of character, which everyone notices. For instance, he oversleeps for work, misses an important meeting, etc. Although some negative things are happening (e.g., Leo's pimp gives him a black eye), he starts to feel alive for the first time. As such, he continues spending time with Leo.
Nolan attempts to get Leo out of the life of prostitution by getting him a job (which he never shows up to). He also tries to encourage him to go back to school and offers to help him financially. One day, Leo shows up at Nolan's job asking for help. Nolan walks Leo out of the building and is confronted by Leo's pimp demanding $3,200. During the conflict the bank's patrons are observing Nolan, Leo and the pimp in the parking lot and someone calls the police. The police show up and escort the pimp away in handcuffs. Nolan then takes Leo back to his house, as his wife is out of town on business. Leo leaves the home sometime after Nolan falls asleep. Joy arrives home from her business trip early and wakes Nolan up.
Soon thereafter, Nolan and his wife are preparing to have dinner with the regional bank manager and the local branch manager regarding a potential promotion for Nolan. Prior to leaving for the dinner, Nolan receives a phone call and leaves. He tells Joy to go on to the dinner and he'll meet her there.We then see Nolan arrive at the hospital and learn that Leo is there due to an overdose. Nolan is directed to Leo's room by a doctor and once he arrives he sees that Leo is not there. The hospital staff believe that Leo checked himself out and left. Nolan starts looking around town for Leo. He goes to his apartment and the place that they met, but he never finds him. While searching for Leo, Nolan has missed the business dinner. He decides to return home and arrives to find an angry Joy waiting for him. She asks why he never showed and indicates that she knows that Nolan is having an affair with a man. Nolan lets her know that he wants to leave the marriage and they quarrel. Joy says that she would like to keep their life as it is and Nolan says he's ready to live in the real world and stop pretending that he is someone that he is not.
Nolan packs up and quits his job, tells his best friend that he is moving to New York and meets a man in a cafe. We also see Joy moving on and looking to take the cruise that she has always wanted to take. The movie ends with no further information regarding Leo and we are left to believe that Nolan goes on to live the life that he has always wanted for himself.
- Robin Williams as Nolan Mack
- Kathy Baker as Joy Mack
- Roberto Aguire as Leo
- Bob Odenkirk as Winston
- Eleonore Hendricks as Patty
- Giles Matthey as Eddie
- Henry Haggard as Beaumont
- Gary Gardner as Lionel Mack, Nolan's father
- J. Karen Thomas as Cat
- Sondra Morton as Gloria Beaumont
- Jerry Chipman as Blyden
- Joshua Decker as ER Doctor
- Brandon Hirsch as Brad
- Landon Marshall as Mark
Screenwriter Douglas Soesbe underwent a similar coming out experience, telling Creative Screenwriting, "I came out very late and with a great deal of guilt. This movie is not about me, but I really understand that character." Soesbe wrote the first draft of the screenplay, which was set in Los Angeles, 10 years earlier, and because of its subject matter did not expect it to ever be produced. When producers showed interest in the project, Soesbe rewrote the script to set the story in a small town that would be "more constricted than Los Angeles."
After its premiere at Tribeca Film Festival in 2014, it found distribution from Starz Digital, and was released in theaters on July 10, 2015. The film went on to screen at the Frameline Film Festival, the Miami LGBT Film Festival, Montclair Film Festival, and the Seattle International Film Festival.
Boulevard received mixed reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a rating of 50%, based on 36 reviews, with a rating of 5.7/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Boulevard features a richly layered performance from Robin Williams, but that may be this dour drama's sole distinctive feature." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 54 out of 100, based on 14 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". IGN awarded the film a score of 7.0 out of 10, saying "It doesn't offer Williams doing any truly brilliant bits of comedy, nor is it a role that is destined to be iconic, but it fits."
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- "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on May 26, 2015. Retrieved September 16, 2013.
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