LOS ANGELES - Will Smith leads in an impressive ensemble cast in drama Collateral Beauty, which follows a grieving father who sends letters to time, death and love, as a way of trying to cope with his daughter’s death.

But what Smith’s character Howard doesn’t expect is that time, death and love will all answer his letters, by visiting him in person, to show that the beauty in life is always there, even in our darkest times. Will Smith Helen Mirren Collateral BeautyWill Smith as Howard and Helen Mirren as death, in Collateral Beauty

The drama takes place in New York on Christmas, a setting which Smith says is a perfect fit for the film’s bittersweet message. “It’s Christmas in New York and when you see Christmas in New York it’s historically synonymous with magic,” Smith said.

“It’s a time of hope, it’s a time of love, for some its a time of sadness and sometimes as you go into that Christmas celebration there are people who were there last year who aren’t going to be there this year.”

 “So theres always been the beauty, the bittersweet of the holiday season and I think New York captures that really beautifully and David (Frankel, director) worked very hard to make sure that energy was in the film.”

But while the film deals with the pain of losing love, it’s underlying message is that beauty is always present in life, especially during the holiday season.

“Beauty was sort of the counterbalance to the pain and the reality of what the situation was,” Smith added. “Not just for Howard, but really that all the characters are struggling with.”