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Boulevard 

Wednesday, Jul 15 2015
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There are so many things you're supposed to do in life. When your father is ailing, you're supposed to be there for him, even if you were never especially close. It's why, in Dito Montiel's Boulevard, middle-aged Nolan (Robin Williams) visits his dying, distant father in the hospital, and it's also why Nolan is closeted at 60, married to a woman named Joy (Kathy Baker) whom he loves but who also deserves better. Driving through the bad part of town one night, Nolan becomes obsessed with Leo (Robert Aguire), a young hustler, and tries to help Leo out while sorting through his own feelings. But as reckless as he is, Boulevard doesn't posit Nolan as a doomed figure, as closeted queers were often portrayed in decades not so far in the past. It's difficult to set aside the fact that this was Williams' final filmed performance before his suicide — and Boulevard is a much better swan song than Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb or A Merry Friggin' Christmas, to be sure — but while it's tempting to read a deeper subtext into this story of a desperately unhappy man trying to claw his way out of his stifling life, the undercurrent of melancholy always informed his performances. And, sadly, life did not imitate art in the end.

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Sherilyn Connelly

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