Danny Collins

Review by Matt Thrift @Matt_Cinephile

Directed by

Dan Fogelman


Al Pacino Annette Bening Jennifer Garner


One of the greatest actors of his generation...


Return to form?

In Retrospect.

Return to sender.

A sappy Al Pacino vehicle reviewed via the medium of Heat's iconic coffee shop tête-à-tête.

Two cars pull onto the shoulder. ROBERT DE NIRO in jeans and a sweatshirt steps out and approaches AL PACINO’s car. AL watches BOB approach, wary. He wasn’t expecting this.

BOB: You know I’m onto you.

AL: Sure… Buy me a cup of coffee.

[BOB crosses back to his car.]


BOB: I thought this was over.

AL: What are you, a critic now?

BOB: We agreed once we’d evened the score we were both out.

AL: I knew you were getting cold feet when you started making deals with that O Russell schmuck. That’s fool’s gold, compadre… So you wanna go back? You must have worked some dipshit crews?

BOB: I worked all kinds.

AL: I saw The Family. That’s when you got that ‘Born to Lose’ tattoo across your chest, right?

BOB: Yes it was.

AL: And now you think this is over?

BOB: Yes I do.

AL: Well let me tell you something, I ain’t never going back.

[The adversarial intensity is eye-to-eye.]

BOB: You wanna just keep on making these pictures?

AL: Wasn’t that the deal?

BOB: For a time. It was funny for a time.

AL: So this was just a joke to you?

BOB: I took your challenge, now I want out.

AL: You think we’re through? I got something out this month gonna keep you playing, just you wait. You can’t win this.

BOB: You really think you can give worse than me?

AL: Oh I do, mamacita… I do.

BOB: You don’t want your normal life back?

AL: What the fuck is that? Oscars and Tonys? Black tie and golf?

BOB: That’s part of it.

AL: That what you’ve got?

BOB: Not since we started this whole thing. My agent’s in rehab, even Ratner won’t take my calls… All because you think you can make a shittier film than me.

AL: What did you expect? You wanna play this game with me, you can’t read a decent script you’re not willing to drop in 30 seconds flat when you feel the heat around the corner.

BOB: I saw what you did in Jack and Jill.

AL: Exactly. If you’re chasing me, you gotta move when I move. You gotta be ready, when you see Danny Collins, to sign up for another Fockers. That’s the discipline.

BOB: I did three of those things because of you. I made a film with Ed fucking Burns. You think you can box me in? Righteous Kill was a favour, to level the playing field, but if I see this movie of yours and it’s so bad I feel I’ve gotta put you down, even if I gotta bring Cuba Gooding Jr into this again, I will not hesitate, not for one second.

AL: Maybe it’ll happen that way, maybe it won’t.

BOB: What’s it been? Ten? Fifteen years? What we’re left with is pretty empty.

AL: What? You wanna do something else?

BOB: I don’t think I know how to do anything else any more.

AL: [the shared confession] …neither do I.

BOB: And maybe you’re right. Maybe I don’t much want to.

AL: Neither do I.

[They look at each other for a moment, a smile of wry resignation shared.]

BOB: (to WAITRESS) Can we have the bill?

[AL PACINO has already disappeared into the night.]


Published 29 May 2015


One of the greatest actors of his generation...


Return to form?

In Retrospect.

Return to sender.

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