Film review: Danny Collins (6 out of 10)

Al Pacino could well be considered as a superb actor in search of a worthy script.
Al Pacino in Danny Collins.Al Pacino in Danny Collins.
Al Pacino in Danny Collins.

His acting ability has never been in doubt, but in recent years there seems to have been a lack of top drawer meaty roles that test him.

Danny Collins is the closest for a while, though.

It’s based very tenuously on a real-life event that happened to British singer/songwriter acoustic guitarist Steve Tilston.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Way back in 1971 John Lennon sent him a letter after reading an interview Tilston made about his fears of success ruining his inspiration.

However, it was 34 years later that he became aware the letter had been sent.

An interesting anecdote but the basis for a movie?

Well the letter is the only common denominator.

Pacino plays Collins, an ageing singer who wrote a bunch of middle of the road hits decades ago and is still performing them to his faithful, mainly grey-haired, fans.

He has everything - massive wealth, amazing home, lots of hangers-on and a fiancee half his age.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Then on his birthday he’s given Lennon’s letter which he should have received way back but it was sidelined by his record company.

However, after he reads it he’s inspired to change his life.

He starts to write songs again, moves into a hotel and tries to meet up with his son, the result of a drunken drug-fuelled night in his heyday.

Pacino is the star and, not surprisingly, the driving force behind the film.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

It’s a good role that allows him to show off his skills and interact well with his co-stars.

Luckily he has a good crew around him with the superb Annette Bening as the hotel manager, Bobby Cannavale as his son and Jennifer Garner as his daughter-in-law.

For me Christopher Plummer doesn’t quite fit in to the role of manager and friend; in fact that part is a bit cliched.

This could have been one big cliche but director and writer Dan Fogelman just about keeps in from the brink.

Plus there’s a brilliant John Lennon soundtrack.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Overall it’s a worthy effort for Pacino and co but surely one day soon he’ll get an outstanding part that will leave us amazed.

Film details: Danny Collins (15) 106mins

Director: Dan Fogelman

Starring: Al Pacino, Annette Bening, Jennifer Garner

Screening courtesy of Horsham Capitol

Related topics: