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.
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.