Starring: Robin Williams, Kathy Baker and Bob Odenkirk
Directed by: Dito Montiel

Robin Williams’ performance in Boulevard is the antithesis of who he created in The Bird Cage…In Birdcage he brought us a lovable flamboyant life-loving stereo-typical (easy-to-accept for the masses) openly proud gay male in an openly proudly gay neighborhood. In Boulevard, he is very calm, in a quiet near-stifling neighborhood. Williams plays Nolan, a married–for-ever closeted 60 year-old man working an equally soul-crushing manila-envelope job, to match, as we discover, his deeply unfulfilled life.

That is until one evening returning home from his father’s sick bed, he takes a road unknown. Then he makes a U-turn to meet a young male prostitute.

What follows is remarkable subtle realism Williams brings to his character. The viewer is privy to a man’s opening. Nolan slowly realizes he has had enough shame. Enough living what others expect or want.

Kathy Baker is the wife. And in one very telling culmination scene, she lays out truths about herself, her selfishness and her cruelty.

Bob Odenkirk, the best friend, provides some humor and ultimately shows what a true friendship means, while he slowly accepts his own real.

Boulevard’s story moves along slowly, and its content true-played and deep; which makes it a not for all again viewing experience. For those into the human dramas, Boulevard becomes a quietly roaring emotional roller coaster that Williams chooses to ride serenely with his undercurrent a bouncing twelve year old whipping around new corners.

Ultimately, the film shares both how difficult Nolan’s truth is to bring out to the world and to keep viewers in touch with the long-time awakenings he is finally allowing to be seen. And, reminds every viewer of our great loss of a true American mega-talent.



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