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Thursday, August 27, 2015

Danny Collins (2014)

Al Pacino does an admirable job of portraying an aging rock star who is reduced to playing his big hits for audiences.  It yields lots of cash but no enjoyment.  He is drinking heavily, snorting lots of cocaine, sleeping with a much younger woman who he doesn't seem to much enjoy, and going through the motions.

Then one day, for his birthday, his long time manager (played by Christopher Plummer--this is not a cast full of youngsters) gives him a letter that John Lennon wrote to him in 1971 but which he never got.  It advises him that he should stay true to his roots, not to compromise, and that he and Yoko would be happy to give him advise on how to do that.  The manager does not seem to anticipate the amount of regret this is going to engender in Danny.  He goes about seeking redemption in a big way.  He stops touring, moves to be near a son he fathered in a one night stand but with whom he has no relationship, and tries to stop drinking and start writing music again. As is so often the case, the path to virtue is paved with temptations and disappointments, and Danny, while very charming, is not immune to those dangers.  In the end he wins some and he loses some, but he is very enjoyable to watch along the way.

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