The Soloist

The Soloist

3.5 7

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Overview

The Soloist

Academy Award-nominated Atonement director Joe Wright teams with screenwriter Susannah Grant to tell the true-life story of Nathaniel Ayers, a former cello prodigy whose bouts with schizophrenia landed him on the streets after two years of schooling at Juilliard. Steve Lopez (Robert Downey Jr.) is a disenchanted journalist stuck in a dead-end job. His marriage to a fellow journalist having recently come to an end, Steve is wandering through Los Angeles' Skid Row when he notices a bedraggled figure playing a two-stringed violin. The figure in question is Ayers (Jamie Foxx), a man whose promising career in music was cut short due to a debilitating bout with mental illness. The more Lopez learns about Ayers, the greater his respect grows for the troubled soul. How could a man with such remarkable talent wind up living on the streets, and not be performing on-stage with a symphony orchestra? Later, as Lopez embarks on a quixotic quest to help Ayers pull his life together and launch a career in music, he gradually comes to realize that it is not Ayers whose life is being transformed, but his own.

Product Details

Release Date: 01/01/2013
UPC: 0883929300969
Original Release: 2008
Source: Paramount Catalog
Presentation: [Wide Screen]
Sound: [Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jamie Foxx Nathaniel Anthony Ayers
Robert Downey Steve Lopez
Catherine Keener Mary Weston
Tom Hollander Graham Claydon
Lisa Gay Hamilton Jennifer Ayers-Moore
Rachael Harris Leslie
Stephen Root Curt Reynolds
Nelsan Ellis David Carter
Jena Malone Lab Technician

Technical Credits
Joe Wright Director
Rikki Lea Bestall Co-producer
Tim Bevan Executive Producer
Jacqueline Durran Costumes/Costume Designer
Eric Fellner Executive Producer
Gary Foster Producer
Susannah Grant Screenwriter
Sarah Greenwood Production Designer
Russ Krasnoff Producer
Francine Maisler Casting
Dario Marianelli Score Composer
Seamus Mcgarvey Cinematographer
Jeff Skoll Executive Producer
Paul Tothill Editor
Patricia Whitcher Executive Producer

Customer Reviews

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The Soloist 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Heavy_Metal_Sushi More than 1 year ago
I didn't think this movie was all bad, but it left a little something to be desired. Good performances and based around a true story, but I was a little bored by some of it, and it left a few questions, but none the less, I still liked this movie somewhat. I would call it average. I'm not a huge fan of dramas either for that matter, but I dabble in a little of everything, so I watch some of them from time to time. If you like dramas, then by all means, I would say go ahead and buy this one, because as far as dramas are concerned, it wasn't all bad. If nothing else, it's at least worth a watch.
voteforgandalf More than 1 year ago
I only saw the movie once in theatres, but as a person concerned about mental illness this movie speaks volumes, which the other reviewers somehow didn't pick up on. That also speaks volumes--most of this society either consciously or subconciously studiously ignore people with mental illness, especially those that are homeless. THAT'S the point of the movie, not for your 'enjoyment' or 'entertainment'--it's supposed to bring light to something that has been in the dark for far too long. I would hope people on a bookstore website would be smarter than that. Evidently not. But back to the movie--if you crave enlightenment on mental illness, specifically the homeless that also have a mental illness, this is the movie for you. It's just stunning. I couldn't stop crying at the end of the movie; I had to sit through the credits before I could get a grip on myself. I'm not usually moved by movies. At least not to that degree. I would definitely recommend this movie to friends and family.
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Grady1GH More than 1 year ago
THE SOLOIST is a difficult film to review. First, the subject matter: a newspaper writer of a human interest column for the LA Times, with personal problems of his own, encounters a schizophrenic homeless man who spends his days playing classical music on a two string violin and provides fodder for a new human interest column - an accidental encounter that develops into a friendship and challenge and some semblance of change in the personalities of both men. Second, the cast: performances by Jamie Foxx as the gifted homeless Julliard trained cellist Nathaniel Ayers and Robert Downey, Jr. as the troubled and frustrated but kind hearted writer Steve Lopez turn in very fine and credible performances. Third, the message: calling attention to the plight of the homeless and their need for simple acts of kindness is well portrayed. Fourth, the music that serves as a character in the film: the cello solos are played with grace and style by LA Phil cellist Ben Hong and the LA Philharmonic as conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen and present in the background and on the screen with in the grandeur of Disney Hall create as solid a film score as possible. Fifth, the supporting cast: with Catherine Keener in a thankless role as Lopez' boss and ex-wife, Marcos De Silvas as LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Tom Hollander as a cello instructor make the best of the poorly developed roles they are given. So what goes wrong here? For this viewer the problems lie with the screenplay by Susannah Grant, an acceptable adaptation of Steve Lopez' novel, but so loaded with LA Times promo and info and mawkish sentimentality that the story all but drowns. Director Joe Wright seems to take the stance of letting the story flow on its own, the only relief being the use of flashbacks that attempt to explain the mental and physical state of Nathaniel Ayers. This is a film that longs to be loved, but in the end it is only a passable human interest story. Grady Harp