Archive for the ‘Dan Fogelman’ Category

A Rock Star’s Redemption

Danny Collins

danny_collins

Director: Dan Fogelman

Cast: Al Pacino, Annette Bening, Christopher Plummer, Jennifer Garner, Christopher Plummer, Bobby Cannavale, Josh Peck

Crazy, Stupid, Love director Dan Fogelman creates a more bittersweet comedy with Oscar winner Al Pacino (A Scent of a Woman) in the lead as the irascible and flamboyant ageing rock star Danny Collins in a film of the same name.

Featuring a great supporting cast including Oscar winner Christopher Plummer (Beginners) as Danny’s manager Frank Grubman and Annette Bening (Being Julia, Bugsy) as Mary Ann Sinclair, Danny Collins is by no means a superb film, but a character driven story about how one man starts to take responsibility for the fame and the recklessness of his life as he enters his semi-retirement years.

Plummer’s charcter acts as a sort of conscious for Danny Collins, who at a ripe old age is still snorting cocaine and drinking too much, attempting to marry woman half his age, while his musical career flat lines as he basically just pelts out the same songs that made him famous in the early 1970’s.

As Danny Collins says “I haven’t written an original song in thirty years”. This is preceded by a wonderful scene in Los Angeles outside the legendary Hollywood hotel Chateau Marmont where Danny stops his Mercedes sports car and stares at a Billboard above Capitol Records of his latest album – Danny Collins, the Greatest Hits volume 3.

So where do ageing rock stars go to retire and reconnect with their estranged children? New Jersey of course! In suburban New Jersey Danny checks into the Wood Lake Hilton run by the amiable yet strict divorcee Mary Ann, wonderfully played against type by Bening. Written by Fogelman too, he saves the best dialogue for Pacino and Bening and its these scenes mainly in the hotel bar that work the most in Danny Collins.

Soon the story takes a twist when Danny Collins tries to reconnect with his grown son Tom, played by Bobby Cannavale, who is perfectly cast as Pacino’s son, although personally I would have liked to see them in a gangster film together. Cannavale shot to fame after winning a Prime-Time Emmy Award for his role as the violent gangster Gyp Rosetti in the excellent HBO series Boardwalk Empire and since then has been cast in numerous films including Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine, Jon Favreau’s Chef and most recently the remake of Annie.

Once again Fogelman saves the best dialogue for the bitter-sweet bonding scenes between estranged son and rock star father. Jennifer Garner (Dallas Buyers Club) has a minor supporting role as Tom’s sensible and pregnant wife Samantha Donnelly.

At times Danny Collins felt unevenly written and at times the dialogue worked beautifully, but the film would never have been successful without the charisma of Al Pacino in the lead role.

Yet despite all this talent, Danny Collins is a minor yet amiable film about characters reconnecting and rockstars coming back down to earth with a bang. More of the plot could have been embellished but one got the sense that Fogelman had run out of ideas by the time the script had run its course.

Nevertheless Danny Collins is recommended viewing but could be saved for DVD and for those that enjoyed Last Vegas. Naturally the iconic Pacino (Scarface, The Godfather, Heat and Carlito’s Way) is fantastic but one gets the sense that even such an accomplished actor needs more to work with to make a film credible.

 

Film Directors & Festivals
Review Calender
July 2020
M T W T F S S
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031  
  • Ryan Adams Issues Long Statement Apologizing for Past Sexual Misconduct
    Singer-songwriter Ryan Adams — who in February of last year was accused of sexual misconduct by seven women, including his ex-wife, actor-singer Mandy Moore — has written a statement apologizing for the ways in which he “mistreated” women in the past. In a long statement in England’s Daily Mail, he wrote that he is now […]
    Jem Aswad
  • ‘Independence Day’ Star Bill Pullman Tells Americans to Wear Face Masks in Public (Watch)
    President Thomas J. Whitmore is urging Americans to wear their face masks in public. Bill Pullman, who played the character in the 1996 blockbuster “Independence Day,” gave a public service announcement about wearing masks in a video for Alamo Drafthouse. “And now, a message from the most presidential actor of all time, Bill Pullman,” the […]
    Jordan Moreau
  • ‘Hamilton’ Cast Celebrates Disney Plus Launch and Reveals Inside Secrets of Film
    “Hamilton” fans rejoiced as Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical was finally released on Disney Plus on Friday, giving people the long holiday weekend to watch the groundbreaking performance. Originally released in 2015 on Broadway, the hip-hop infused musical about founding father Alexander Hamilton became an instant smash hit. Most people had to pay hundreds or thousands of […]
    Jordan Moreau
  • ’17 Blocks’: Film Review
    In “17 Blocks,” Cheryl Sanford, matriarch of a low-income African American household in southeast Washington, D.C., talks wistfully of a “parallel universe” where she and her family enjoy cookouts, vacations and gift-filled Christmas mornings. This melancholy confession comes moments after a closeup of her casually snorting cocaine. It’s a heartbreaking scene in that have destroyed […]
    Peter Debruge
  • ‘Chasing Dream’: Film Review
    There’s a bit of everything and most of it works in “Chasing Dream,” the first feature directed by Hong Kong ace Johnnie To since “Three” in 2016. Far from what fans of To’s hard-boiled crime dramas such as “Drug War” and “Election” might have expected, “Chasing Dream” invokes everything from gritty 1930s Warner Brothers musicals […]
    Richard Kuipers
  • Read More
    Different providers offer different cell phones, so take a look at the options from each provider to choose the right one for you. You may also want to look into any promotions that the providers have to offer, such as free cell phones in exchange for signing a contract. Tags: 2gmhass90