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 (Christopher Plummer) 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.
Al Pacino and Christopher Plummer were another team in "The Insider" (1999) with Pacino as the producer, Lowell Bergman and Plummer as "60 Minutes" reporter, Mike Wallace. In "Danny Collins" the roles are reversed with Pacino as the performer and Plummer is behind the scenes as his business manager. See more »
After Danny has been to see his son for the first time, he returns to the Hilton and is seated at the bar, apparently drunk. There is a glass in front of him which is empty except for some melted ice. Mary enters the bar and politely tries to tell him he's had too much to drink. Danny points out there is only water in his glass. Mary orders a tequila and soda and the bar tender serves her but does not refresh Danny's glass. Following this, we see the bar tender polishing the glasses and in the next shot, we see Danny's glass now contains alcohol. See more »
During the end credits, a clip of a Steve Tilston (the inspiration for Danny Collins) interview and a couple of newspaper headlines (that describe Tilston's finding of the John Lennon letter) are shown. See more »
This is one of those films when the title tells you nothing so, unless you see a trailer or have a recommendation, you could miss out on a real pleasure. It must have been tempting to use a title like "How A Lost Letter From John Lennon Enabled Danny Collins to Find Himself" but perhaps that would have said too much. Certainly the storyline is very loosely inspired by the true incident of English folk singer Steve Tilston's discovery that Lennon had written to him in 1971.
On the other hand, maybe knowing that the lead role is taken by Al Pacino would be enough for some people to view the movie, since this is an actor who consistently gives brilliant performances. Except that the character of Danny is much tenderer than most of Pacino's roles (think "The Godfather" movies all the way to "Righteous Kill") and the portrayal is much less histrionic than many of his earlier roles (think "Scarface" or "The Devil's Advocate"). Blow me, Pacino even sings in this film.
One of the many delights of "Danny Collins" though is that Pacino (now in his mid 70s) is not the only star. There are excellent performances from Christopher Plummer (even older in his mid 80s) as his agent, Bobby Cannavale as his son, Jennifer Garner as his daughter-in-law, and Annette Bening as a hotel manager. Writer and director Dan Fogelman has given good lines and meaningful roles to his ensemble cast and it pays off a treat. And we get to hear some Lennon classics.
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