Summer 2009 Summer Films series
Sunday, July 5, 2009 at 8:00pm
Directed by Joe Wright
Screenplay by Susannah Grant
Starring Jamie Foxx, Robert Downey Jr., Catherine Keener, Tom Hollander
Rated PG ·
United Kingdom, United States and France
Based on a true story and directed by Joe Wright (Atonement, Pride and Prejudice) The Soloist features two of the year’s best performances from Robert Downey, Jr. and Jamie Foxx.
Steve Lopez (Downey) a Los Angeles Times columnist began writing a series of articles in 2005 about musician Nathaniel Ayers (Foxx). Once a Julliard cello prodigy, Ayers, suffering from severe schizophrenia, has literally hit the skids when Lopez meets him, playing a battered two-string violin in the slums of Los Angeles.
The miswiring of modern life is Wright’s true subject. Lopez may think that his attention will be the cure, the inspiration for Ayers to straighten up and fly right. But the movie is having none of that. Foxx, his eyes darting, his head down, his anger on a low simmer, doesn’t cheat in his portrait of Ayers’ illness. Something inside will always remain unreachable. In the end, Downey’s eyes reflect that acceptance, capturing the film’s grieving heart. Rarely have actors achieved such a bond playing characters who can never really connect. In the end, The Soloist isn’t about big moments, it’s about the grace notes … that stay with you. From P. Travers, Rolling Stone