'Danny Collins': Karma Catches Up With Al Pacino

Imagine receiving an inspirational letter from John Lennon later on in life. This is what happened to Steve Tilston, and it is the basic premise for the drama comedy Danny Collins. Instead of being the general audience film, it takes risks with it's 13 + rating. The film stars Al Pacino (The Godfather TrilogyScarfaceScent of a Women), Christopher Plummer (BeginnersThe Last Station), Annette Bening (American BeautyThe Kids Are All Right), Jennifer Gardner (AliasDallas Buyers Club) and Bobby Cannavale (Boardwalk EmpireBlue Jasmine). The film is directed by writer Dan Fogelman (Crazy, Stupid, Love).

The films opens up as a younger Danny Collins is giving a candid interview. Present day Danny Collins (Pacino) is a pop balled showman man, who has the hit songs that everybody loves. Also there seems to be an endless greatest hits tour and the second volume of the greatest hits are coming out on CD. Collins is a sad musician who has not written a hit song since the candid interview days and lives his life in excess with drugs and alcohol. His agent (Plummer) gets him the most awesome birthday gift ever, an inspirational letter from John Lennon telling Collins to stay true to himself and his music. Having had enough with his life in general Danny Collins hits the road in order to change his life. At the hotel where he checks in indefinitely he  meets the manager of the hotel, Mary Sinclair (Bening), who he flirts  with at every opportunity he gets. He also has to make amends with his distant long lost son (Cannacavale) and his sons wife (Gardner). Along the way Collins sees how you actions actions effect other peoples lives. There are also ample opportunities where Collins must chose between his old ways, or the new ways.

Danny Collins is not you average feel good comedy drama, where characters are turning a new leaf and learning life lessons. The choice to make this a 13+ film sets it apart from the generic life changing movies. This is quite surprising given the fact that Dan Fogelman has worked on a verity of Disney Animations films. Through Crazy, Stupid, Love was a great success as fresh romantic comedy for Fogelman as a writer.  The supporting actors and actress are all great. As for Al Pacino, there is no praise that underscore what a great performance, if now on of his best roles in recent years. He is a great showman, and also has some great vivacity for life that the movie exemplifies. From putting on a concert Rod Stewart style, to the ladies man with game that Ryan Gosling would bow down too.