First Hit: I really enjoyed the film mostly because of the music followed closely the characters.
Danny (Al Pacino) is an aging rock and roll star that sings his and other’s old songs to an aging audience that love his old songs. It is just for the money.
He’s still into drugs and drinking while seeing the irony of having a young fiancé. She’s with him for the money and drugs. On his birthday his manager Frank Grubman (Christopher Plummer) gives him a letter written to him by his all-time hero, John Lennon.
Frank bought this 40 year old letter for Danny after tracking it down to a collector. Danny is overwhelmed by the gift, and decides he needs to change his life. So he moves into a hotel in New Jersey being managed by Mary Sinclair (Annette Bening). They have great banter and the chemistry is palpable. Besides getting rid of his drugs and trying to write new songs, he wants to visit his son Tom Donnelly (Bobby Cannavale) whom he’s never met.
His son doesn’t care one iota about him and wants him out of his life. His daughter Hope (Giselle Eisenberg) is ADHD and through her Danny tries to find a way back into his son’s heart. This film is about the difficulties of redemption, forgiveness, growing, and letting go.
Pacino is pretty good, and although there are times I felt he was over milking the part, other times he appeared clued into the role and was creating a wonderful character. Bening was wonderful. She was a great foil for Pacino’s role. Plummer was fantastic. Cannavale was superior as the son who was both angry and happy to meet his father. The star of this film was Eisenberg. She was amazing. Dan Fogelman wrote and directed this film. His use of the John Lennon music was absolutely perfect. The other stories that make up this film were strong.
Overall: I thoroughly enjoyed the film and it was the music that got me fully engaged.