Name one film in which Will Smith has played a baddy. See? There isn't one. He's an alien-murdering hero who can most often be found on screen rescuing the world. Naturally, in Seven Pounds we find him rescuing things again, although he has downsized the scale of his ambition. Instead of the world, Smith's character, a former engineer called Tim Thomas, is trying to change the lives of seven people. After a ponderous amount of time, we learn that this is because he once caused a car accident that killed seven others, including his fiancée. Stricken by guilt, Tim nabs his taxman brother's credentials and sets about finding and testing seven good people whom he can donate organs to. (The mystery of the title is uncloaked - it's a nod to Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice.) The film holds the niche honour of an award from the American organisation Donate Life, for Outstanding Portrayal of Organ and Tissue Donation - not a category one ever sees at the Oscars. The upshot is that by doling out fairly vital body parts such as lungs, hearts, kidneys and bone marrow, the film contains the world's most unlikely suicide scene - involving a bath of ice and a box jellyfish. Don't, whatever you do, expect an uplifting watch. Smith is suitably wallowing as the star and more than ably supported by Rosario Dawson as his love interest, Emily, who has a defective heart. It is directed by the Italian Gabriele Muccino, who also made Smith's last weepy, The Pursuit of Happyness. The poignancy of Seven Pounds will probably have you reaching for a tissue by the end, too, but it sure is heavy going to get there.
* Sophia Money-Coutts