Review first published on Movie Muser, October 2015 http://www.moviemuser.co.uk/
Starring: Al Pacino, Annette Bening, Jennifer Garner, Bobby Cannavale, Christopher Plummer
Directed By: Dan Fogelman
Al Pacino plays Danny Collins, a fictional music star whose career seems to have peaked at some point in the Seventies. Although not officially a has-been – he still appears to be very wealthy and is widely recognised by young and old everywhere he goes, Collins is unsatisfied. He hasn’t written a song in thirty years and seems less than enthused about his much younger fiancée (Katarina Cas).
While, as his agent (the ever excellent Christopher Plummer) points out, his problems are extremely minor compared to some people’s, the revelation that Collins was once sent an admiring letter by John Lennon which never got to him, triggers what can only be described as a very late midlife crisis. He begins to reassess his priorities attempting to rebuild relations with the family of his estranged son (Cannavale and Garner). He also moves into a hotel and soon he begins wooing the straitlaced manager (Bening).
The Lennon stuff seems to be largely an excuse to get some of the Beatle’s music on the soundtrack. This turns out to be a godsend as all the music performed by Pacino is absolutely awful. It is hard to see how Collins would ever have made it as a music star, even allowing for the fact that he is supposed to have worsened with age.
The performances are fine though particularly Garner and Plummer and as Collins notes he and Bening’s character do generate some “good patter” (as in banter).
The mock up album covers on the extras using pictures from Pacino’s own long career are good fun too. There’s an okay, short advertising featurette too in which Al Pacino at one point unwisely compares his decision to take the role to his decision to play Michael Corleone in ‘The Godfather’. Needless to say , the comparison to his past glories would have been best left unmade.
Special Features: Danny Collins – Album Covers Through The Years Behind The Scenes of Danny Collins Featurette
Overall Verdict: Not likely to make Al Pacino’s own Greatest Hits album. Distinctly average.
Rating: 3 out of 5
Reviewer: Chris Hallam