[CRITICAL E-CINEMA] DANNY COLLINS

At the cinema, and finally there are relatively few actors or actresses who, by their mere will and presence, manage to justify that one wears a look on their movie. Al Pacino is part of it. Even his films the most disappointing leave the watch with him. Exception may be with the pathetic Jack and jill (2011) Dennis Dugan, in which he played his own role at the side of an Adam Sandler impersonator to fill a dual role. A film of incredible stupidity. However, in Manglehorn and The Humbling, although both are difficult to access (on the bottom as on the form), the actor was fascinated enough to turn over.

It does not therefore much that it lingers on DANNY COLLINS, released in April 2015 in the United States but in France directly in VOD by TF1 Video. All the more, that, quickly, the film appears to be the least enjoyable as the actor is convincing and full of energy. Both funny and touching, it is as always a treat to see Pacino. A comedy-drama without pretension, in which he found the world of the music he had sung in 2013 the famous producer Phil Spector in the tv movie of the same name by HBO around his trial.

Danny Collins (Al Pacino) is a “rock-star” is aging. He has not written another song for 30 years but continues touring in filled rooms (in large part) from older ladies. When his manager and friend, offers him a letter written 40 years ago by John Lennon and which is addressed to him, Danny is questioning his choices. He make a point about his life and find a family he has never known.

A rail of coke, a double whisky, rapid staining of hair, and a sheath with difficulty. This is the ritual that must be Danny for years now before you go on stage in front of a horde of old groupies to sing along to his biggest hit, ” Sweet Baby Doll “. No question, therefore, of falling into the pathos of the old singer forced to play in nursing homes to be able to get out of it. No, Danny just has the same way of life for too many years ; as a couple with a young daughter more screwed than him, travels by private jet or in a vintage car… His awareness in the reading of the letter of Lennon will take place then in the middle of the waste of his birthday. In this role, Al Pacino is in free-wheel, in the proper sense of the term. Ultra-dynamic, it delights by its simple presence. The air of improvisation, to take the items on the spot, it gives life to this character in spite of all friendly – a performance that has earned them a nomination for the Golden Globes in 2016. His presence is made all the more pleasant that lately, with The Humbling and Manglehorn, we had seen an Al Pacino slouching, interpreting characters depressed and closed in on themselves.

”Both funny and touching, it is always a treat to see Al Pacino.”

Although DANNY COLLINS appears as a pleasant entertainment, it is interesting to connect his two themes to the latest movies ofAl Pacino to discern the current sensitivity of the actor. Namely the questioning of an artist (here as a musician, in The Humbling he was an actor) and the need to reconnect with a family, particularly a son (Manglehorn). Although in a very different style, the film manages to echo these works. We feel so much more empathy for Danny (and Pacino) who questions his life, and in his attempts to change – it will render a song, will establish contact with a woman more “normal” and (almost) his age… The most difficult one to handle for the director and screenwriter Dan Fogelman rest then the relationship Danny has with his son. Because obviously, there are certain codes to follow in this style of comedy, drama and the director does not seek to revolutionize the genre. Which is all to his honour as remaining rather conventional (and humble to a certain extent) in its approach, the film is not less effective and successful.

The screenwriter of Crazy, Stupid, Love and several Disney ( Rapunzel) is the same way to include a look at the company – via the school system, an inappropriate hyperactivity of the little girl of Danny – without besmirching the evolution of the relationships between its characters, nor adding to its history. It should be noted, moreover, that behind the show of Pacino, these characters manage to exist thanks to their very good performers : Annette Bening, Jennifer Garner and Bobby Cannavale. Dan Fogelman happens in the end to move us up to the end. Up until the last second, by a final scene that reunites father and son in a harrowing time and closes as well with intelligence this nice moment spent with Danny.

AGREE ? NOT AGREE ?

INFORMATION

Original title : Imagine

Production : Dan Fogelman

Screenplay : Dan Fogelman

Main actors : Al Pacino, Jennifer Garner, Annette Bening, Melissa Benoist, Bobby Cannavale

Country of origin : U. S. A

Released : January 11, 2016

Duration : 1h46min

Distributor : TF1 Video directly on VOD

Synopsis : A rock star, aging does not wish to change his habits of life, until his agent to open a letter kept secret for 40 years, written by the hand of John Lennon, the famous member of the Beatles. Following this unexpected discovery, Danny Collins will be looking to rediscover his family and to find love.

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