Danny Collins


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Danny Collins
"This isn't a lecture about acting your age, nor is it an advert for Viagra. It's far more sentimental."

Growing old disgracefully is a good basis for comedy, especially in the music business. Bill Nighy cornered the market with Still Crazy and Love Actually. Now it's Al Pacino's turn and he's all chitty chat and baggy trousers. Mick Jagger still has the moves. Danny Collins can hardly stand up.

Gags about old farts and girls young enough to be their granddaughters fill the vacuum between corn and cliche, but this isn't a lecture about acting your age, nor is it an advert for Viagra. It's far more sentimental.

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Danny is a crowd pleaser. He's in the middle of a national tour. His show is aimed at the people who tell him, "My parents had their first dance to one of your songs." And that's what he gives them - first dance songs. Afterwards he helps himself to a double Scotch, or three, while his twentysomething wife has it off with a dumbo hunk in their bed.

The film is about the responsibility of leading a good life, based on genuine principles, rather than taking the easy road to fame and fortune. Yawn... Bought the T shirt.

Danny leaves the tour and checks into a Grade 2 Hilton in Jersey, run by Ms Efficiency (Annette Bening), who finds the Collins charm irresistibly intrusive. Meanwhile he drops in on the son he's never met after that one night stand with a groupie 32 years ago.

The son is married with a hyperactive daughter and a shitty job. The appearance of his father, offering financial help for a specialist ADHD school, sickens him. Here's the clash, retribution at a cost, paying for love within a family he didn't know he had, or rather did, but was too busy being famous to find the time.

Pacino switches to cruise control. This is a smile job for him. Christopher Plummer, as his agent, gives a performance that might have originated in Broadway Danny Rose. As for Bening, she's wasted. What can she do but be polite and dress like a Republican?

Reviewed on: 27 May 2015
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An ageing rock star decides to mend his decadent ways and seek out the son he has never met
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Director: Dan Fogelman

Writer: Dan Fogelman

Starring: Al Pacino, Annette Bening, Christopher Plummer, Jennifer Garner, Bobby Cannavale, Melissa Benoist, Giselle Eisenberg, Josh Peck

Year: 2015

Runtime: 106 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: US


Deauville 2015

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