DANNY COLLINS (2015)

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Written & Directed By: Dan Fogelman 

Cinematography: Steve Yedlin 

Editor: Julie Monroe 

Cast: Al Pacino, Annette Bening, Christopher Plummer, Bobby Cannavale, Jennifer Garner, Nick Offerman, Melissa Benoist, Josh Peck, Katarina Cas, Giselle Eisenberg, Brian Thomas Smith, Scott Lawrence 


Inspired by a true story, Al Pacino stars as aging 1970s rocker Danny Collins, who can’t give up his hard-living ways. But when his manager uncovers a 40 year-old undelivered letter written to him by John Lennon, he decides to change course and embarks on a heartfelt journey to rediscover his family, find true love and begin a second act.


Inspired by the story of singer Steve Tilston, who learned of the existence of a letter that John Lennon had written to him 34 years after the letter was written.

The film is a feel good film that feels a little like a fantasy but is a heart warmer and feels lived in. Will admit this is an easy film to overlook. as once you see the trailer you feel like you have it all figured out. Though once you watch it you are shocked at how much it grabs a hold of you and moves you.

Al Pacino shines in his role her where he gives a heaviness to a role that could be easily written off as lightweight. He gives it his all and makes a charismatic sympathetic character who could have been more comedic. Though the fact that he isn’t makes us pay attention and wonder.

The previews for this film focused more on the romantic angle between him and Annette Bening’s Character but as the film progresses that is only one part of this character study. As most of the drama revolves around him and his estranged son’s relationship.

There are plenty of isn’t that convenient moments but in the end the film leaves you with a smile on your face. As it is a film that could be a family film Except that is some scenes it goes out of it’s Way to show you the material is more adult with drug use and a scene of nudity.

The film lightly explores being afraid of challenging yourself and taking the easy way out. While also asking not o hard if you have built up a reputation for making others happy but it doesn’t make you happy anymore. Do you still owe the people what they want or are you allowed to let yourself be happy and express yourself even if it’s it in a way that others are used to or might not even approve of and try to deny.

Christopher Plummer is good as always and it’s fun to see him play more of a tough guy.

For such a noted cast this is actually kind of lightweight material. Though for the most part they are the true reason to watch this. As they give the material the respect even though they are above it to a certain aspect.

Though in the end this is feel good entertainment with a little bit of an edge and basically gives the cast an easy walk with letting them play characters who are more lived in and having the younger cast members play smaller roles that are more like sketches of characters.

It also asks how much do you owe your audience as they are the ones who supported you and admire you, but ho much do you owe them when you want to express yourself more truthfully and honestly though that stands at odds with what your audience wants or will even let you do. Who is more in control especially when you have given them years and been made rich off of it but aren’t being true to yourself.

Grade: C+