Film Review: Imagine What Could Have Been for ‘Danny Collins’

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Average: 5 (1 vote)

CHICAGO – “Danny Collins” is a shoulda-woulda-coulda film. It was inspired by the true story of a John Lennon letter acquired by a musician 40 years after he was suppose to to have received it, and then re-imagined as a cheap soap opera, punctuated by far superior John Lennon songs. Oscarman rating: 2.0/5.0
Rating: 2.0/5.0

There is nothing wrong with changing the story. The musician who actually received the letter thought it was nice, but probably then thought, “I have to pay my mortgage this month.” In “Danny Collins,” the rocker is played with little believability by a too-tan Al Pacino, and he is a filthy rich rock star, “selling out” shows during a dinosaur road tour. Throw in the estranged son with a deathly disease – yeah, they went there – and the whole John Lennon vibe is lost on a sappy, silly story that should have been much more interesting, considering the elements it was given – including the use of a Lennon song soundtrack.

The film begins in 1971, when a young Danny Collins is doing his first major interview for a “Rolling Stone” type magazine. John Lennon apparently reads the article in this parallel universe, and writes a letter of encouragement for Danny. The rocker goes on to a big career, which gives him all the star trappings, but doesn’t read the letter under his manager Frank (Christopher Plummer) buys it from a collector forty years later. The words so move Danny Collins (Al Pacino), that he decides to re-engineer his life.

This includes going to New Jersey (naturally) and reuniting with his long lost son Tom (Bobby Cannavale) and Tom’s wife Samantha (Jennifer Garner). Tom is a working class hero, and wants nothing to do with Danny, until he confesses he has a deadly disease. Luckily for the plucky rocker, he can fix that, while staying at a local hotel and wooing the comely hotel manager named Mary (Annette Bening). In this case, money can buy them love.

”Danny Collins” continues its limited release in Chicago on March 27th. Featuring Al Pacino, Christopher Plummer, Jennifer Garner, Annette Bening, Bobby Cannavale, Josh Peck and Nick Offerman. Screenplay written and directed by Dan Fogelman. Rated “R”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of ‘Danny Collins”

Al Pacino
Hoo-Hah! Al Pacino as the Title Character in ‘Danny Collins’
Photo credit: Bleecker Street Media

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of ‘Danny Collins”

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