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Archive for the ‘Bobby Cannavale’ Category

Danny Collins

22 Apr

Danny Collins – writer, director, Dan Fogelman. Comedy/drama. 106 minutes Color 2015.

★★★★

The Story: A 70-year-old rock star decides to stop touring and write songs again and also to look up his long-lost son.

~

This is star-acting. Movie-star-acting. It’s a sub- or super-genre under the rubric of acting, and it requires space to shine in. This space is usually provided by a series of long scenes.

They are given. But they are interrupted by scenes which interlope the procedures necessary for star-acting. The story goes off the rails when we are asked to believe even for one Manhattan minute that his manager and his new girlfriend and certainly his own common sense could appear at a nightclub to debut only one number, when he would actually need thirty new songs to debut anything at all. 

Here again we have the write-director fallacy, the one unable to hear the other throw up. 

This side-track, so phony, kills the real interest of the material, which is: can he actually write a new song after thirty years of hackwork singing other people’s songs? 

We end up in a byway of a mawkish drunk claptrap, that we are spared the worst only by the playing of the long-lost son by one Bobby Cannavale, a lovely actor, whose strategies opposite the star capture us despite the cheap failed trick of the diversion. 

The star-acting is done by Al Pacino, I hope. And I hope you do not think you will be in for anything less. He is not offering a miniature, a water color. He is offering a big canvas, a Rubens. He covers an entire wall. His work is not about realism, naturalism, The Method, or any such. It is rather the projection of the actor’s imagination to create a world towards which the world itself must respond. The danger of star-acting is that it turn hammy. Pacino does not. Pacino is an actor of rich imagination, and even a playful modesty. He is worth beholding, as Bette Davis is worth beholding, and for the same reason. They’re big. If you don’t like Big get out of the kitchen. 

Annette Bening, another star-actor, dims her glow to support his importance, like a stewardess does a pilot. We needed more of her to hold the story true to writing songs, a highway we loose in the blue roads of the plot. Jennifer Garner helps a lot, and so does a little girl, Giselle Eisenberg, as does Christopher Plummer as Pacino’s doughty manager. 

Pacino is a real entertainer. Go. 

But remember: you don’t go to an amusement park because a roller coaster is absent.

 
 
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