Movie review of “Boulevard”: The late Robin Williams plays a closeted gay man, married to a bewildered woman (Kathy Baker) but in love with a young hustler (Roberto Aguirre). Rating: 2 stars out of 4.
The late Robin Williams made so many movies and parts of movies (not all of them released) that it’s difficult to determine which one was truly his swan song.
But in terms of the challenges it offers, “Boulevard” may be the one that’s remembered. He plays Nolan, a 60-year-old closeted gay banker, on the verge of coming out as he shares a passionless marriage to a bewildered woman (Kathy Baker).
What pushes him over the edge is his relationship with a young hustler (Roberto Aguirre), who seems to return his interest in companionship rather than sex. But when the boy’s pimp turns up, things get ugly — and complicated. Nolan’s father ends up in the hospital, his best friend becomes suspicious and the wife tries to save the marriage by planning a cruise.
Movie Review ★★
‘Boulevard,’ with Robin Williams, Roberto Aguire, Kathy Baker. Directed by Dito Montiel, from a screenplay by Douglas Soesbe. 88 minutes. Rated R for language and sexual content. SIFF Film Center.
Unfortunately, the movie plods; you can always see where it’s going or trying to go. It also feels incomplete. The open ending doesn’t work, though Williams clearly tried to turn it into a plus.
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The director, Dito Montiel, who guided Channing Tatum through his breakthrough role in “A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints” (2006), seems defeated by the script.
Williams had a special talent for playing deeply repressed characters. If you admired his remarkably detailed portrait of an obsessed suburban salesman in “One Hour Photo” (2002), there may be some compensations here. But they’re minor. “Boulevard” feels sad rather than engaged.