The film centers on Joe Paterno, who after becoming the most successful coach in college football history, is embroiled in Penn State's Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal, challenging his ... See full summary »
On the day that a serial killer that he helped put away is supposed to be executed, a noted forensic psychologist and college professor receives a call informing him that he has 88 minutes left to live.
Inspired by a true story, Al Pacino stars as aging 1970s rocker Danny Collins, who can't give up his hard-living ways. But when his manager (Christopher Plummer) uncovers a 40 year-old undelivered letter written to him by John Lennon, he decides to change course and embarks on a heartfelt journey to rediscover his family, find true love and begin a second act.
During the end credits, a clip of a Steve Tilston (the inspiration for Danny Collins) interview and a couple of newspaper headlines (that describe Tilston's finding of the John Lennon letter) are shown. See more »
This is one of those films when the title tells you nothing so, unless you see a trailer or have a recommendation, you could miss out on a real pleasure. It must have been tempting to use a title like "How A Lost Letter From John Lennon Enabled Danny Collins to Find Himself" but perhaps that would have said too much. Certainly the storyline is very loosely inspired by the true incident of English folk singer Steve Tilston's discovery that Lennon had written to him in 1971.
On the other hand, maybe knowing that the lead role is taken by Al Pacino would be enough for some people to view the movie, since this is an actor who consistently gives brilliant performances. Except that the character of Danny is much tenderer than most of Pacino's roles (think "The Godfather" movies all the way to "Righteous Kill") and the portrayal is much less histrionic than many of his earlier roles (think "Scarface" or "The Devil's Advocate"). Blow me, Pacino even sings in this film.
One of the many delights of "Danny Collins" though is that Pacino (now in his mid 70s) is not the only star. There are excellent performances from Christopher Plummer (even older in his mid 80s) as his agent, Bobby Cannavale as his son, Jennifer Garner as his daughter-in-law, and Annette Bening as a hotel manager. Writer and director Dan Fogelman has given good lines and meaningful roles to his ensemble cast and it pays off a treat. And we get to hear some Lennon classics.
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