Title – Danny Collins (2015)
Director – Dan Fogelman (feature debut)
Cast – Al Pacino, Bobby Cannavale, Annette Benning, Jennifer Garner, Christopher Plummer, Josh Peck, Melissa Benoist
Plot – When hard partying ageing rock star Danny Collins (Pacino) discovers a letter that was written to him by John Lennon over 40 years ago, he sets about on a life changing journey that will see him finally meet his son Tom (Cannavale). Danny soon realises however that change isn’t as easy as he’d thought.
“Some dinners are worth fighting for”
Review by Eddie on 29/10/2015
Let’s be frank and let’s be honest, the last 10 to 15 years have not been kind to our one time Tony Montana and Don Corleone. Gigli, 88 Minutes, Righteous Kill and Jack and Jill are but a few stinkers Al Pacino has put his name to since 2000. It’s a shame, a big shame that Pacino has had his name sullied by this period of time so what a pleasant and welcome surprise Danny Collins is.
A feel good comedy with heart to spare, Danny Collins sees Pacino deliver the best performance his produced on screen in some considerable period of time. His ageing rocker character allows Pacino time to show off both his comedic chops and his dramatic intensity that made him such a star of films from the 1970’s through to the 90’s. So often in the last decade or so Pacino has had roles that have been either overcooked or undercooked, but surrounded by solid material and a great support cast, Pacino is on song here and reminds us all of the power he has as a performer.
While it’s not free of committing cliché sins, Danny Collins as directed and written by Dan Fogelman, does enough to separate itself from other such cautionary and finding yourself tales and while Pacino is front and centre most of the runtime the actors and actresses around him all produce the goods.
I could go on at length about the man but simple put Bobby Cannavale once more delivers the goods in a perfectly pitched turn that sees him play Danny’s estranged son Tom. Teaming the one time stage sharing performers of Pacino and Cannavale is a huge win for the film and the two share a great chemistry that maintains Danny Collins through some slightly more sappy moments. With a scene stealing Christopher Plummer along for the ride and with lovely turns by Annette Benning and Jennifer Garner, Danny Collins has an all-round winning cast.
Inspired very loosely by a true story, Danny Collins crafts a loveable and affectionate tale around some great acting turns and while it might not be anything truly new to viewers its certainly one of the year’s most readily accessible and easy to enjoy films that’s a great reminder to all of us that Al Pacino still has a lot of offer when the right role comes his way.
4 impressive Toys R Us hauls out of 5