Saturday, April 11, 2015

Danny Collins

Plot: 65 year old rock star Danny Collins (Al Pacino) is still touring to hall-fulls of aging fans, and he still drinks and does cocaine. On his birthday, he catches his young wife with a boyfriend her own age. At the same time, he gets a letter addressed to himself written by John Lennon The letter had been stolen by a magazine writer, and was only delivered after 30 years. He reflects on what he might have done with his life, cancels the rest of his tour and decamps to a Hilton in New Jersey, where he flirts with Mary (Annette Benning) the hotel manager. 

He goes to visit his long estranged son Tom (Bobby Cannevale) who has an enchanting daughter Hope () and a pregnant wife Samantha (Jennifer Garner). There are a few plot twists and soon he is writing songs in his hotel room, and this propels the movie to its not so predictable end.[imdb]    [photos]

Review: Danny Collins is a old man's story about finding meaning in his life. In the beginning, bad things happen to show how empty life is, in the middle we get satire on American life, and in the end we get a message about friendship and relationships. 

Like most art movies, the pace is slow, probably so that you can catch all the symbolism, or perhaps to let the audience feel-deeply. In any event the slow pace is a sleep-inducing. 

There is uniformly good acting from Al Pacino and Annette Benning, who have a nice patter. Jennifer Garner is good too. When Bobby Cannevale is ill, he has a few good moments. Little Giselle is funny and cute -- although her voice may be dubbed in half the time. 

Cast: Al Pacino, Annette Benning, Bobby Cannevale, Jennifer Garner, Giselle Eisenberg

Written and directed by: Daniel Fogelman

The Music: The best part of the music is that we don't have to listen to Al Pacino sing much. 

The Visuals: Nothing special

Rating:  2 stars: Come for the acting, it isn't that entertaining or that thought-provoking.

More: There is a grain of truth to the story. John Lennon did send a letter to an aging rocker which was delivered 30 years late; it went to English singer Steve Tilson.

Even More: Director Fogelman is known for lots of feel-good entertainment, including the musical TV show Galavant.