The Soloist (2009)


I’ve never loved anything the way he loves music.

— Steve Lopez

Based on the book of the same name, The Soloist tells the true story of Steve Lopez (Robert Downey, Jr.), a columnist for the Los Angeles Times that has a bicycle accident in the beginning of the movie. While he recovers from his head injuries, he befriends a homeless man, Nathaniel Ayers (Jaime Foxx), who plays the violin with only two strings. Steve is taken with Nathaniel’s musical prowess. He wants to make Nathaniel the subject for his column, “Points West”.

In subsequent encounters, Steve learns that Nathaniel was student at Julliard in the early 70s when he dropped out because he began to suffer from bouts of paranoid schizophrenia. Steve tries to help Nathaniel to overcome the illness that crippled his musical genius, but instead he kinda takes advantage of him.

This picture comes from director Joe Wright who brought us the 2005 version of Pride & Prejudice, which I enjoyed immensely and a film I loathed, Atonement. This movie would be in the middle of those two. There is nothing spectacular about this film. It’s just another one of those inspirational cookie cutter type movies that was supposed to pull at your heartstrings. It fails on so many different levels.

The story was not compelling to hook me. Being a sucker for classic music, the score by Dario Marianelli swelled so much that you want to press the mute button. Some sequences rambled on to no end, including Jaime’s performance. There was acid trip type scene that irritated the hell out of me. The sequences that Nathaniel was hearing the voices at Julliard were unnecessary.

This movie was supposed to come out November 2008, but it was bumped to April of this year, because it wasn’t ready to be released. Everyone knows that is code for a dud. That’s what this movie was.

Judgment: Buy the soundtrack to movie, not the movie itself.

Rating: **1/2


About Branden

Branden: I am just your average movie nut that reviews films. Gives his take on pop culture and Hollywood happenings. Dreams to have his own thriving website and make a living doing what he is passionate about.

Posted on August 17, 2009, in 2009, Biopic, Drama, Inspirational and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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