Danny Collins – DVD review and giveaway!

By Alexandra Heilbron on July 8, 2015 | 27 Comments

Danny CollinsDanny Collins had a limited release and not much buzz when it hit theaters and that’s a shame. This heartfelt drama grabs the viewer from the first frame and doesn’t let go until the very last second – literally.

Al Pacino playing aging rock star Danny Collins. Danny can still fill a stadium, despite his cheesy songs and the fact that his audience, who grew up with him, are in their sixties and seventies.

It’s not until his manager Frank (Christopher Plummer) gifts him with a letter written by John Lennon that he found on eBay, that Danny realizes he’s been a sellout for most of his career. You see, the letter was meant for him.

John wrote the letter right after Danny’s first big magazine interview, when he was on the cusp of fame, and sent it in care of the editor of the magazine, who kept it. In the letter, John tells Danny to stay true to himself and to his music. He even gives him his phone number and invites Danny to call him.

The letter surprises Danny, and he realizes he’s lived his life exactly the opposite of what John advised. He wonders how different things would have been had he received the letter when he was meant to. He decides to change his empty shell of a life.

He contacts a son he had out of wedlock, whom he’s never met or tried to contact before. The meeting doesn’t go well. Bobby Cannavale plays Danny’s son, Tom Donnelly, who is angry at his father for his abandonment and wants nothing to do with him. But there’s more to the story than that.

Tom, a hardworking blue collar worker, has a lot going on in his life and is conflicted, but at the same time, is a loving family man with a supportive wife (Jennifer Garner) and an adorable daughter. Cannavale does a great job of portraying the turmoil his character is going through, while still trying to be strong for his family – the husband and father Danny never was.

Annette Bening plays a hotel manager who’s not a fan, which probably attracts Danny – it’s the first time in years that he’s made advances on a woman who’s well out of her teens. Pacino plays his character with warmth, but also lets us see Danny’s weaknesses and flaws. It’s a multifaceted performance and one of Pacino’s best in recent years.

All the actors are perfectly cast and play their roles flawlessly, but above all, kudos have to go to director/writer Dan Fogelman for this fascinating story. He has written movies such as Crazy, Stupid Love, Tangled and Fred Claus, but this is by far his best script to date. He also makes an outstanding directorial debut with this screenplay. The use of John Lennon songs, which actually relate to what’s going on in the movie, is a nice touch.

At one point, close to the end of the film, I was afraid it was going to end, leaving some parts of the story unresolved. It’s a rare occasion to want a movie to be longer than it is because you’re enjoying it so much that you don’t want it to end. If you enjoy intriguing dramas featuring interesting people, you’ll find this movie very entertaining.

Bonus features on the DVD include Behind the Scenes of Danny Collins and Danny Collins – Album Covers Through the Years. The movie is now available on DVD and VOD. ~Alexandra Heilbron

We have five DVD copies of Danny Collins to give away. Tell us below which of the cast members is your favorite for a chance to win! Winners will be chosen on Tuesday, July 14.

Also available this week on Blu-ray/DVD: Woman in Gold, Survivor, Slow West, The Face of an AngelOctober Gale and House of Cards: Season 3

Watch the Trailers:
Woman in Gold
Slow West
The Face of an Angel
October Gale
House of Cards: Season 3


Comments & Discussion

  1. Kevin M • July 8, 2015 @ 9:33 AM

    Jennifer Garner is my fave.

  2. Steve Thorne • July 8, 2015 @ 9:57 AM

    Who is my favourite? Where do I start?
    Chris Plummer has always been a rock to me, and Pacino is great.
    Gardener is adorable and Benning is classic.

    If I have to pick one though, I will have to go with Christopher Plummer. He has always been a fave of mine.

  3. Gwen Collins • July 8, 2015 @ 11:29 AM

    While Al Pacino did a marvellous job, I think really liked Annette Bening. Was sad to hear the movie didn’t do as well as it should have. There were so many great performances here.

  4. Toby • July 8, 2015 @ 11:58 AM

    Great movie! But I love Al Pacino, and loved his character in this.

  5. jennifer • July 8, 2015 @ 12:03 PM

    Annette Bening, I love all her work

  6. Gladys Marie • July 8, 2015 @ 12:05 PM

    I have always been a fan of Al Pacino and would very much like to own this particular copy of one of his best performances in a long time!

    The other actors/actresses are all great too!!

    Thanks and have a great day!

  7. Deb cairns • July 8, 2015 @ 12:29 PM

    Al Pacino is my fav!

  8. Irene anderson • July 8, 2015 @ 12:34 PM

    Al Pacino. Love him in everything.

  9. Wally Thom • July 8, 2015 @ 12:53 PM

    Al Pacino

  10. Janet Knudsen • July 8, 2015 @ 2:07 PM

    I love Annette Bening. Would like to see more of her.

  11. ashley • July 8, 2015 @ 2:38 PM

    Al Pacino and Jennifer Gardner
    I was very sad I was not able to rent this movie yesterday when it was released, I could not find it on Xbox video or my TV to rent

  12. Belinda Charney • July 8, 2015 @ 2:40 PM

    In this movie Christopher Plummer is my favorite cast member. Imagine the effort and time it took to find John Lennnon’s letter. I believe that John is the favorite even though we don’t see him but by wrote in the letter to Danny to be true to himself and his music.

  13. Susan Hanley • July 8, 2015 @ 2:45 PM

    I love Annette Benning and Jennifer Garner.

  14. Drew • July 8, 2015 @ 3:15 PM

    Al pacino – he just makes it that much better

  15. Birdie Colleen Trafford • July 8, 2015 @ 3:23 PM

    Wow what a cast , when does this come out can hardly wait to see it I am happy movie goer love a good happy movie and this is one of those movies I can tell 🙂

  16. Caleb Chadwick • July 8, 2015 @ 3:29 PM

    Bobby Cannavale is my favorite.

  17. Roy H • July 8, 2015 @ 3:43 PM

    Al Pacino

  18. Lorraine H • July 8, 2015 @ 4:21 PM

    The entire cast sounds great – have enjoyed them all – but with only being able to choose one – it has to be Christopher Plummer!

  19. Linda C • July 8, 2015 @ 5:42 PM

    Christopher Plummer

  20. Evan • July 8, 2015 @ 7:20 PM

    I would like to win a copy of Danny Collins as I’ve been a fan of Al Pacino’s work for several decades now. A great talent. Thank you.

  21. Bernie W • July 8, 2015 @ 8:18 PM

    Al Pacino is my favorite actor in the film but my favorite artist is Dan Fogelman. I’ve enjoyed all the movies that he has written to date. Thanks for the giveaway. I hope that I win.

  22. Diane M • July 9, 2015 @ 1:33 AM

    Al Pacino as he was so much fun to watch in this movie! Loved his character!

  23. Linda Bleskie • July 9, 2015 @ 8:32 AM

    Pacino was brilliant and this movie should have lasted longer than it did!!! Loved it!

  24. Claudette • July 9, 2015 @ 9:14 AM

    Gotta be Annette Bening for me… :-))

  25. lorraime manmiller • July 9, 2015 @ 11:59 AM

    I absolutely love Al Pacino! I just can’t get enough of his talent. He is a great actor. His career has taken him to so many different roles. As a young man in the God Father to now an aging rock star! Who else could pull that off.
    As far as Christopher Plummer goes, I fell in love when I was a little girl watching him on the big screen in The Sound of Music. This was a great pairing for this story. Loved the music too! Anything with John Lennon stories/music is close to my heart. John is so missed. Will watch this over & over & over!
    It’s just one of those stories!

  26. Margaret Vincent • July 9, 2015 @ 1:46 PM

    Any given movie and I probably wouldn’t have a problem coming up with a name for a favorite cast member. With this movie I’m finding it almost impossible to do that. It’s a toss up between Plummer, Benning and Pacino. I enjoyed Benning and Pacino’s patter. Everyone has such incredible presence and appeal. This is a great performance … a great movie …. I’m thinking it’s going to end up being a ‘sleeper’ hit. … I hope so!

    Okay, reaching deep, I guess I have to say my favorite cast member is the little girl portraying Pacino’s granddaughter. Really love what she brought to the film.

  27. Linda • July 10, 2015 @ 3:23 PM

    Amazing cast but my fave would have to be Al Pacino.

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