Starring: Al Pacino, Annette Bening, Christopher Plummer, Jennifer Garner
Director: Dan Fogelman
Dan Fogelman is best known as a screenwriter with the likes of Tangled, Cars, and Crazy Stupid Love under his belt in recent years. This week sees the writer/producer make the leap into the director's chair for the first time with Danny Collins.
Fogelman has penned the screenplay as well as being in the director's chair as he teams up with an all-star cast and Oscar winning leading man in the form of Al Pacino - I have to say, it is not a bad way to kick off your first feature film as director.
Inspired by a true story, Al Pacino stars as Danny Collins, an ageing rock star who can't give up his hard-living ways. But when his manager (Plummer) uncovers a 40-year-old undelivered letter written to him by John Lennon, Danny decides to change course and embarks on a heartfelt journey to rediscover his family and himself.
Ok, Danny Collins is one of those soul-searching redemption movies that we have seen many times before: while it doesn't reinvent the wheel, it is a movie that you can easily kick back and enjoy.
I have been a fan of Pacino for many years and while he isn't quite delivering the work that he once was, he does give a very charming performance in the title role.
It is also an engaging performance from Pacino as a man who is looking back at his life and wondering 'what if?' As well as looking at all of the mistakes that he has made along the way - let's face it, that is something we can all relate to.
However, this is not a movie that is drowning in sentiment - which is a bit of a relief - as director Fogelman has found the balance between drama, comedy, and the moments that really do tug on your heartstrings.
Fogelman has brought together a very talented cast and he really has allowed them to shine as they have brought his characters and dialogue to life. The film boasts some great partnerships - Pacino & Bening and Pacino & Plummer being the two that really do spring to mind.
Pacino and Plummer really are hilariously funny - Pacino with the eccentricity of a life of excess, while Plummer brings him back down to earth with some terrifically witty and rather dry one-liners. Bening has always been a great actress and she is full of humour, wit, and warmth as the hotel manager who catches Danny's eye.
Of course, Danny Collins deals with many themes that we have seen before, but Fogelman has done it in a funny and charming way that you don't mind when the story does fall a little into cliché.
The story is an engaging, heartfelt, and genuinely funny one and the cast are simply terrific with some wonderful chemistry. Fogelman has delivered a terrific directorial debut and it is a movie that is not to be missed this weekend.
Danny Collins is out now.
Tagged in Al Pacino