The Soloist [Blu-ray]
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Sometimes people randomly cross paths, and forever will be changed. That's the subtle, yet profound, message of The Soloist, a deeply moving and deeply human film about people and what, and whom, they connect with. Robert Downey Jr., who is effortlessly charismatic, plays Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez, whose job it is to report on the character and characters, of Southern California. But even a (slightly) jaded reporter can be profoundly touched by a story he reports on, and then allows to unfold in real time. The subject of Lopez's column is Nathaniel Ayers (Jamie Foxx, also in a stellar turn), a homeless street musician whose lovely music--played on a battered two-string violin--Lopez hears one day on a walk not far from the Times office. Lopez learns Ayers once attended Juilliard before mental illness sent him into a spiral, and the column detailing Ayers' journey touches the community--as well as both men. The film (based on Lopez's book, follows the halting journey of their friendship, and how sometimes people's lives can't be fixed. Director Joe Wright (Atonement) cast real homeless Angelenos in the many street and social services scenes, giving the film an even more heart-wrenching and realistic patina. If the film doesn't always live up to its high aspirations (the trippy effects, which supposedly show what Ayers sees when he hears Beethoven, are straight out of a 1968 light show), it nonetheless has a big heart. And in an era in which newspapers are struggling to survive, it's heartening to see a contemporary story about a newspaper that can still affect change. --A.T. Hurley
Stills from The Soloist (Click for larger image)
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Top Customer Reviews
IMHO, this film is simply wonderful throughout, beginning to end, and has moved me to very moist eyes upon each and every viewing, tears of both profound sadness and sublime joy alike. I suspect that most people who have seen this, and have given it thumbs down, are missing the boat here. Although I always try to give, at times grudgingly, respect for the opinions, beliefs, and feelings of intelligent, enlightened folks, no matter what the film, I find it hard to fathom how and why anyone could watch this, stick with it to the end, and not see this as something really special.
The first time I watched this "cold," knowing almost nothing about it and only later discovering that it was all based upon a true story and the characters based upon real people, I nonetheless strongly suspected such was the case early on in the film and to the finish.Read more ›
People who see this film as a political statement miss the whole point.
Now if they could just have spent a little more time coaching Foxx on his fake cello-playing skills...alas.
This is a story close to my heart. Similar in theme to Lars and the Real Girl, this story doesn't circle around a town coming together to help one man's pysche. This story is about two men who orbit in entirely different galaxies and how a passing swipe ends up creating a lifetime friendship. Yes, there's the mental illness aspect to it and Foxx plays the role of Nathaniel Ayers exceptionally well. His schizophrenia is obvious, and living on the streets hasn't helped. And when newspaper reporter Steve Lopez (Downey Jr.) tries finding a story to write about, he stumbles upon Nathaniel's past as a Juilliard Music School drop-out.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Background music was to loud and made the talking hard to hearPublished 3 days ago by Amazon Customer
Jamie Foxx did a superb performance as usual. The movie provided a good portrayal of people who are homeless, live with mental disease and refuse to seek treatment or help.Published 7 days ago by Amazon Customer
A wonderful movie about the power of music on our psyche and the extent one person will go to help another.Published 17 days ago by Bruce S.
What a great movie, especially for High School kids as something different in music class.Published 23 days ago by Alex Fries