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
Reviews and Awards
Review Calender
February 2018
M T W T F S S
« Jan    
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728  
  • Mark Warner: Social Media Giants Are ‘One Significant Event Away’ From Loss of Consumer Faith
    WASHINGTON — Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.). the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, believes that social media giants like Facebook and Twitter are “one significant event away from people losing faith” in their platforms. In an interview with Variety, Warner was critical of the response from the companies as the Intelligence Committee has investigated […]
    Ted Johnson
  • Television Academy Sets New Standards of Professional Conduct
    Following the lead of the film academy and other Hollywood guilds, the Television Academy has established its own new code of ethics and standards of professional conduct. Chairman Hayma Washington sent the following letter to Academy members, linking to the two-page code of conduct. “The Academy has zero tolerance for discrimination or harassment, as well […]
    Debra Birnbaum
  • Film News Roundup: Sam Rockwell to Voice Gorilla in Angelina Jolie’s ‘One and Only Ivan’
    In today’s film news, Sam Rockwell will be the voice of a gorilla named Ivan, fan organization Legion M partners with Dean Devlin on “Bad Samaritan,” and the director of “Tangled” gets a new gig. CASTING Oscar nominee Sam Rockwell has signed on to voice a silverback gorilla named Ivan, the lead character in Disney’s […]
    Dave McNary
  • Republic Records Executive Charlie Walk Accused of Sexual Harassment by Five Former Employees
    Republic Records Group president Charlie Walk is under fire again, accused of making unwanted sexual advances, lewd remarks, and inappropriate touching by five former employees. A month-long investigation by Rolling Stone uncovered the allegations, which are being leveled by Pam Kaye and Kate Harold, who worked for Walk at Columbia Records; two anonymous former employees; […]
    Shirley Halperin
  • ‘The Voice’ EP Talks Season 14 Changes: Kelly Clarkson, a Block Button and a ‘Save’ Option
    Along with the addition of Kelly Clarkson to the coaching panel, season 14 of “The Voice” will introduce a block button and a save option to increase the competition factor. “We haven’t ever really had a defensive move or an offensive-defensive move, so we came up with the block,” executive producer Audrey Morrissey says. “It […]
    Ariana Brockington