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The Soloist

May 1, 2009


Robert Downey, Jr. plays Steve Lopez, a columnist for the Los Angeles Times.  One day he encounters Nathaniel Ayers, a homeless man played by Jamie Foxx.  Nathaniel is playing a 2-stringed violin and in his ramblings mentions that he attended Juilliard.  Mr. Lopez (as Nathaniel always calls him) does some research and discovers that Nathaniel did indeed attend Juilliard for two years, but played the cello while he was there.

After Lopez writes a column about Ayers, one of his readers sends a cello for Ayers to play.  Lopez takes the cello to Ayers and insists that he keep it at LAMP community for his own safety.   Ayers is resistant at first, but his love of music draws him to the community.  Lopez realizes that Ayers is schizophrenic  and does his best to help him.  Their relationship has many ups and downs but they finally reach a common ground that they’re both comfortable with.

The Soloist is based on a true story and follows the friendship of Steve Lopez and Nathaniel Ayers and includes flashbacks that show how Ayers got to be where he is today.  Both Robert Downey, Jr. and Jaime Foxx are fantastic in the roles they play.  Parts of this movie were filmed in Skid Row and some of the extras in those scenes are homeless people.  (There are over 90,000 homeless people in the greater Los Angeles area.)  Nathaniel’s sister has started a foundation to support arts program for the mentally ill.  This movie made me thankful for so much and made me shed quite a few tears.  I thought it was wonderful and hope to read the book soon. Make sure you take tissues when you go!

30 Comments leave one →
  1. thekoolaidmom permalink
    May 1, 2009 7:25 am

    I always love music movies. I still get a little verklempt over August Rush *sniff*. I hope our little two screen theater will get The Soloist, but as it is nearing summer, I quite imagine it will go to the drive-in. Which means I won’t get to see it until it comes out on DVD because I don’t have a car.

    I didn’t know it was based on a book, btw. I’ll have to check it out. 🙂

  2. May 1, 2009 8:11 am

    You know I don’t go to a lot of movies, but I’ll put it down for Netflix.

  3. redladysreadingroom permalink
    May 1, 2009 9:10 am

    I’m glad to hear that you liked the movie. It looks very powerful. I saw an interview with Ayers and Lopez on 60 minutes and was captured by the story. He is an amazing man and how fortunate that he found a friend like Lopez. I have the book on my TBR shelves and look forward to reading it.
    I would love to see the movie as well.

  4. May 1, 2009 9:23 am

    I’ll definitely put this on my NetFlix queue so I get fairly soon after it comes out on DVD.

  5. May 1, 2009 9:25 am

    I definitely want to see this movie! It’s a movie that both my husband and I want to see, a very rare occurence. The book is on my wishlist!

  6. May 1, 2009 9:32 am

    It sounds like you really liked this one Kathy. I probably won’t get a chance to see it at the theater but I am definitely adding it to my netflix!

  7. stacybuckeye permalink
    May 1, 2009 10:00 am

    I’m thinking I might wait to watch this at home, you know I dislike crying! I’ve heard quite a bit about this movie in the last few weeks because Ayers grew up in Cleveland and his sister came back for the ‘premiere’ here. Thanks for the heartfelt review 🙂

  8. May 1, 2009 10:47 am

    Hey, I loved the trailer. Jamie Foxx simply blows your mind away. He was awesome in Ray, and this is the second “music” movie I’ll be seeing him in. I’m really looking forward to this movie.

  9. May 1, 2009 10:48 am

    I enjoyed the book but felt it lacked hope. I am not sure I will see the movie.

  10. May 1, 2009 11:13 am

    Just the trailer alone makes me cry! I’d love to see this, but I doubt I can talk anyone into seeing a tearjerker with me!

  11. May 1, 2009 11:48 am

    Jamie is amazing. Tissues…

  12. May 1, 2009 12:32 pm

    I’ve been on the fence about seeing this, so I appreciated your review. I read some of Lopez’ original LA Times columns about Ayers (the Times is my local paper) but haven’t read the book – I think I need to give both the book and movie more pondering.

  13. May 1, 2009 1:28 pm

    I saw this movie last week and found it very touching, plus the acting was superb. Glad you enjoyed it too!

  14. May 1, 2009 2:05 pm

    Thanks for the review and the trailer. We were looking for something good to go see this weekend.

  15. May 1, 2009 2:23 pm

    Wow! That’s intense. I HAVE to see this movie.

  16. May 1, 2009 2:34 pm

    I want to see “The Solist” so badly.

  17. May 1, 2009 4:32 pm

    For some reason, I always have to think of that fake trailer in Tropic Thunder when I see the poster for this one. “A Tale of Forbidden Love!”

  18. May 1, 2009 5:03 pm

    Isn’t it nice to see a movie you can recommend? Glad you liked it!

  19. May 1, 2009 10:00 pm

    Sounds good.

  20. May 1, 2009 10:06 pm

    I’m a huge Robert Downey Jr. fan so I plan to see this someday. Thanks for the warning about the tissues … don’t want to be caught without them!

  21. May 1, 2009 11:20 pm

    I’ve been waiting and waiting for this to come out, since I first watched a trailer last year. I’m glad to hear it lives up to expectations!

  22. May 2, 2009 1:15 am

    I have this book, and I think I want to read it before seeing the movie. Thanks for this review, I’m glad to know the movie was good.

  23. May 2, 2009 1:47 am

    Oh you simply must allow me to cross link this to Monday’s Movie. I’m dying to see this movie!

  24. May 2, 2009 9:46 pm

    I’m going to have to see this one. Robert Downy Jr. is one of my favorite actors. Glad you liked it Kathy.

  25. May 3, 2009 9:41 am

    Thanks for doing a review to this. I have seen the trailer a bunch of times, but I guess I have been resistant to seeing the movie because it just seems like it will be like most other movies about similar topics. Glad that you enjoyed it. I’m still resistant.

  26. May 3, 2009 10:55 am

    A friend of mine read the book before the movie came out (I think?) and highly recommended it! I’ll definitely be reading the book before I watch the movie, because movie-first doesn’t usually work out so well for me.

  27. May 3, 2009 11:41 am

    Wow. It looks fantastic.

  28. May 3, 2009 9:04 pm

    I listened to this in audio format. It was an amazing story. I think these actors are perfect for the roles.

  29. May 4, 2009 1:04 pm

    Saw this movie Saturday and loved it, loved it, loved it!!! Thanks for recommending it.

  30. May 7, 2009 8:20 pm

    I thought this might be a good movie. Jamie Foxx is an incredible actor, isn’t he? I want to see this one. The movie I went to see this weekend was X-Men: Wolverine. I thought it was better than the other X-Men movies.

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