Wow! After watching Paramount Pictures' "The Soloist" the first word that came to mind was wow. This movie, based on one of the lead characters, Steve Lopez book of his personal story, is real and gritty and sincere. Director Joe Wright, most recently noted for his work on Atonement, did a great job of directing the film on the streets of L.A., keeping true to the story and resisting the need to add any Hollywood glitz or sensationalism. Our story begins with L.A. Times journalist Lopez, believably played by Oscar nominee Robert Downey, Jr. struggling to come up with his next story. While out and about on the streets, Lopez hears the sound of a violin being played by colorful homeless man. Turns out the domestically challenged man, Nathaniel Anthony Ayers, played by Jamie Foxx, has a story. And it's a good one. He's a classical music genius living on the streets; but it gets better, Ayers just might be a touch crazy… or maybe even schizophrenic. Realizing this is just the kind of thing Lopez could use to build a great column, he begins with an interview that slowly turns into a bromance between the two. Both characters are true to life with all of man's compassion, pride and fragility. They navigate the complexities of what would appear to be a 'have' trying to help a 'have not' and end up helping each other. Lopez journey through who the homeless really are gets you thinking, especially as you walk on just about any downtown street and dismiss those sleeping in the doorways or talking to trees. All in all, good story, great characters, and delicious acting. Oh, and Jamie, you can go ahead and give your stylist a heads up that you'll be needing a tux. We'll see you at the Oscars. For Movie Magazine International, I'm Dawn Bailey.
© 2009 - Dawn Bailey - Air Date: 04/09
USA - 2009