The Soloist

The Soloist

(2009)

Based on the true story of Nathaniel Ayres, a schizophrenic who found himself homeless and busking for change in LA despite his prodigious musical ability, this is the latest offering from Atonement director Joe Wright. Forging a niche for himself as a portrayer of afflicted musical genius, Jamie Foxx (Ray) takes on the role of Ayres.... More

The story draws from an article by Steve Lopez (played by Robert Downey Jr) - an LA based journalist who attempts to help Nathaniel make his dream of playing at the Walt Disney Concert Hall come true.Hide

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Flicks Review

Judging by the buzz, this is the first piece of Oscar bait being dangled in front of Academy voters and us lesser viewers for next year’s ceremony. But, despite being a solid film, The Soloist is never remotely spectacular.... More

Downey’s role is the meatiest and most prestigious of his career and he pulls it off, without exactly knocking one out of the park. Foxx gets to indulge in more animated thespian stylings and probably edges out his co-star for the best work.

For all their efforts, they are let down by a script which can’t seem to decide what type of story it’s trying to tell. It doesn’t have the action and plotting necessary to be a purely narrative story but at the same time it doesn’t probe deeply enough to be a character piece.

The Soloist seems to wander and meander from beginning to end, hoping that the strong cast and occasional artistic touch can sustain interest. Fans of the lead actors will be the ones who get the most out of this.Hide


The Peoples' Reviews

Average ratings from 2 ratings, 2 reviews
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Lax

Homeless people in LA. Horrible picture. Was that an exaggeration?


Based on fact and on a story that hasn't yet ended this is a really good movie.
A compelling story, acted with brilliance, it tells of the power of friendship, a friendship that grew out of the demands of the work of one of the characters and really became influencial. Inspirational, and I dont agree the story meanders.


The Press Reviews

56% of critics recommend.
Rotten Tomatoes Score. More reviews on Rotten Tomatoes

  • By consistently and relentlessly overplaying everything, by settling for standard easy emotions when singular and heartfelt was called for, by pushing forward when they should have pulled back, director Joe Wright and screenwriter Susannah Grant have made the story mean less, not more. Instead of enhancing The Soloist's appeal, they have come close to eliminating it. Full Review

  • The film is imperfect, periodically if unsurprisingly sentimental, overly tidy and often very moving. Full Review

  • Has moments of power and imagination, but the overworked style and heavy socially conscious bent exude an off-putting sense of self-importance, making for a picture that's more of a chore than a pleasure to sit through. Full Review