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California Solo 2012 NR CC

(35) IMDb 6.2/10

A former Britpop rocker who now works on a farm gets caught driving drunk and faces deportation after living in Los Angeles for many years. His efforts to stay in the U.S. force him to confront the past and current demons in his life.

Robert Carlyle, Danny Masterson
1 hour, 35 minutes

Available to watch on supported devices.

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Product Details

Genres Drama
Director Marshall Lewy
Starring Robert Carlyle, Danny Masterson
Supporting actors Kathleen Wilhoite, A Martinez, Alexia Rasmussen, William Russ, Michael Des Barres, Niko Nicotera, Patrick Gallagher, Ella Joyce, Brad Greenquist, Anna Khaja, Hal Landon Jr., Robert Cicchini, Lina Carollo, Tatiana Monteiro, Savannah Lathem, Ping Wu, Wiley M. Pickett, Virginia Hankins
Studio Syncopated Films
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 3-day viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Barbara Barnett on January 15, 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
In the press notes for California Solo, writer-director Marshall Lewy defines "FEAR" as an acronym that can mean either: "f*** everything and run" or "face everything and recover." Perhaps, more than anything, that is the underlying theme of his new movie California Solo. Starring Robert Carlyle in a mesmerizing performance, California Solo traces the first steps of one faded former Britpop rocker from once sense of fear to the other.

When we meet the movie's central character Lachlan MacAldonich, whom Carlyle infuses with equal portions of self-loathing and charm, he is living a comfortably numb existence. Carlyle is perfectly cast as Lachlan, the Scottish former lead guitarist in a "big deal" `90s British rock band, the Cranks. The band's real "big deal" was Lachlan's older brother, the Cranks lead singer Jed, who died tragically of a drug overdose years earlier in L.A.

By night, Lachlan hosts a rather morbid podcast called Flameouts, honoring the world's great musicians, tragically dead before their time: from T-Rex's Marc Bolan, to that most tragic of composers, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. But, the one flameout Lachlan's not yet profiled is Jed; the memory of his brother's death is still too keen and raw, even more than a decade later, as Lachlan feels responsible (with good reason) for the overdose that killed him.

Since Jed's death, Lachlan hasn't been home to the U.K.--never faced family, friends, and fans. Nor really himself. Now an expat with a green card, in this self-imposed exile, hiding from his past and himself in Antelope Valley, California, Lachlan works on an organic farm owned by Warren (A Martinez in a gentle, sympathetic performance as Lachlan's patient boss).
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Format: DVD
As a great showcase for underrated actor Robert Carlyle, Marshall Lewy's character study "California Solo" gives him one of his most fully realized roles in years. Truly, I am a fan of Carlyle. Sometimes, though, I forget just how good he can be. This low-key indie really lets Carlyle tap into the depths of the central character. There is no big plot or major drama in this modestly scaled picture, just one man shaken from routine and apathy to look at the life he's chosen and the one he's left behind. Carlyle is so natural, so believable, and so comfortable in the skin of a former British rocker living a quiet life in America! And it's this easy performance that carries "California Solo" to success. The screenplay develops a realistic situation and Carlyle sells it at every turn. There is no artifice in this understated presentation, just a compelling reflection of a life lived.

Set in the rural outskirts of Los Angeles, Carlyle (once a famed wild child) lives a subdued existence tending to an organic farm. He still has a certain charm and a way with the ladies, and he enjoys a comfortable numbness in emotional solitude. A drunk driving stop, however, will abruptly end this way of life. Threatened with deportation, Carlyle starts to scramble. His legal woes and precarious position threaten a burgeoning new romance and will have him reuniting with a family long abandoned. The occurrence shakes him from the post-fame ennui that has defined him for decades. But in discovering what he values, might it be a little too late to matter? Again, the film just flows over the viewer in an incredibly subtle way. It gives Carlyle the chance to really open up and it's a fantastic performance.

I appreciated that Carlyle was allowed to be a complex persona.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Steve Ramm TOP 100 REVIEWER on February 24, 2013
Format: DVD
This 95-minute film was an "Official" selection at Sundance and probably played many other film festivals. It's definitely an independent film on a small budget. Its 30 locations were shot in an amazingly short 21 days. (You learn this from the "Making of..." featurette in the DVD bonuses.

The one "name" actor is Scottish actor Robert Carlyle (who I must admit has an accent thick enough that I know I missed some of his dialogue. And, there are no "subtitle options", which might have helped). He's well-known but was new to me. His character, Lachlan MacAldonich, was in a UK rock band with his brother but - for reasons you will learn in the film - he left the band (well, it broke up) and has been living in California (outside LA ) for the last 10 years. One think you learn about Lachlan is that he drinks a lot. (If the liquid consumed in this film was real alcohol, a good portion of the budget would have been spent on it.) Writer/Director Marshall Lewy intends for Lachlan's character to be one that some of the audience take compassion for and other see him as a loser. He does make some really stupid moves. I won't go into details that will tell you how the story ends. That would give away too much.

There are other characters in Lachlan's life in the film but they are - in my opinion - thinly drawn. The main one is Beau - who is described on the package as being "a lovely struggling actress". I don't ever remember her "occupation" being mentioned in the film but the central part of the story is that both Lachlan and Beau each have "problems" and may save each other. Lachlan's problem is of course his alcoholism but all we know about Beau is that she has "some bad days". (At least I couldn't figure out what her problems were.).
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