Wednesday, July 01, 2015

'Danny Collins' Is a Funny, Heartfelt Comedy-Drama About Second Chances



Danny Collins is inspired by the real-life happening on English folk singer Steve Tilston in which he was unaware for 34 years of a 1971 letter written to him by John Lennon.  This comedy-drama tells the story of an aged rock legend named Danny Collins (Al Pacino) who experienced the clich├ęd, hard-living rock star lifestyle of drugs, booze, and women during the entirety of his decades-long musical career.  However, after he receives a birthday gift from his best friend/manager (Christopher Plummer) – an undelivered 40-year old letter written to him by John Lennon when Danny was at the beginning of his career – he was inspired to radically turn his life around.  He journeys to New Jersey, settles in a local hotel, flirts with the manager, begins writing an original song for the first time in decades, and – most importantly – makes an attempt to reconcile with his estranged son (Bobby Cannavale).

Danny Collins is Al Pacino’s best movie in a long time.  The story is fresh, charming, and contains a healthy amount of heartfelt and funny moments.  The excellent acting from Al Pacino and his supporting cast, combined with the well-written script, ensured that Danny Collins, the central character, is sympathetic, likable, and develops effortless and instant chemistry with every character he interacts with.

I quite liked this movie in general.  Though the drama and tension felt forced at times, and there was a slight derailment of the story’s magnetism in the third act, it nevertheless offers more to enjoy about.  Danny Collins is definitely one of 2015’s most overlooked gems.

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