Monthly Archives: August 2015

Boulevard, A Review: Average Film, Superb Second to Last Performance

Boulevard is not a particularly great movie, and suffers from its utter generic-ness and lack of ambition. The absolute best thing I can say about the film, however, is it contains one of Robin Williams’s last acting performances, and in spite of such an average picture, he manages to turn in a fine, very restrained, dramatic performance. The kind we had come to expect from Williams.
The set-up of the story is simple. A bank clerk, named Nolan (played by Robin Williams, lives a pretty standard life. He and his wife (played by Kathy Baker) have set-up their marriage as a way to distract themselves from the outside world. All of this changes one night while driving. Nolan encounters a troubled young man, named Leo (played by Roberto Aguire), and his entire life changes, as he comes to embrace who he really is, and even his own sexuality.
Boulevard is a pretty atypical film. It’s well directed by Dito Montiel (who also made Guide To Recognizing Your Saints, a fine film) and the script is okay, even having some genuine laughs in it. The performances all around, not just Williams, are fine, including Kathy Baker as his wife, Roberto Aquire as the troubled youth he befriends and Bob Odenkirk in a small role as one of his accomplices and friend named Winston. It’s really Robin Williams who shines through though. This may not be one of his absolute best performances, but for being one of his final roles, it isn’t a bad role either. Williams isn’t being manically over the top (overly dramatic) in this film. He’s showing the level of restraint that he’s usually showed in some of his best roles like Good Will Hunting and Dead Poets Society. For example, when he confronts his wife after missing dinner, instead of screaming and hollering, he tries to calm her down, and is very resourceful as playing it cool.
Boulevard is a rather short film with less than 90 minutes. The director clearly has skill in making a competent picture, but aside from Williams’s performance, I wasn’t drawn into much of the story. For being one of Robin Williams’s last performances, it does make me sad, but either way, it was a good role for him to go out on.