Synopsis: The Soloist is the true story about musical prodigy Nathaniel Anthony Ayers who dropped out of Julliard after developing schizophrenia and became homeless on the streets of Los Angeles where years later Journalist Steve Lopez discovers him and a unique friendship was formed.
Release Date: April 24, 2009 MPAA Rating: PG-13
Genre(s): Drama, Biography
The Soloist is a truly wonderful film that will make you believe in the power of friendship and that acceptance above all else is the greatest gift one can give to another. The performances are absolutely fantastic and it moves at such a pace you only become more and more engrossed in the story as time passes. And for those who have a love for classical music, or the ability to appreciate the beauty in it, you will only dive further into the wonder and the power it holds.
Given the sensitive nature of The Soloist‘s subject matter it quite easily could have portrayed the main character in a poor light, and with an overabundance of sympathy. Joe Wright instead treats it with such sensitivity and honesty that it is extremely powerful, uplifting and emotional throughout. You not only emphasize with the characters, but you understand them and the predicaments that have brought them to their respective places in the world. At no time do you feel pity for Nathaniel, or sorry for Steve and the unwanted commitment he finds himself in by befriending Nathaniel. Both characters are treated with the same level of respect and poise so that their flaws, be them a mental disorder or purely emotional distress and disdain, are on an equal field. Joe Wright has such told a touching and dramatic story just how it deserved to be revealed to the world.
Bringing to life the eccentricities of Nathaniel Ayers through his clothing choices is done with impeccable carefulness and creativity in The Soloist. They reflect his free-spiritedness and eclectic nature perfectly. From the moment you see him on the screen you know his character, and the different way he reacts to the world and also what he puts out into it.
At the root of The Soloist is the love of music, by Nathaniel. It is what he dreams about, lives for, and loves more than anything else. To depict his love of music Joe Wright (Director) and Susannah Grant (Screenwriter) made an exceptional choice. In one of the key scenes of the film where Nathaniel is listening to his most beloved music, the picture on the screen takes an avante garde turn. No longer is it the actors and their reactions to the music the key focus. No, it cuts to bright colors swirling and moving about as the music plays. It forces you to completely concentrate on the music, to witness the beauty in it as Nathaniel does, without any visual distractions. The scene begs you to close your eyes and let the music take you where it will. The impact of this scene, and the choice to let the music lead, makes for a phenomenal experience.
Cast and Crew
- Director(s): Joe Wright
- Screenwriter(s): Susannah Grant
- Cast: Robert Downey Jr. (Steve Lopez), Jamie Foxx (Nathaniel Ayers), Catherine Keener (Mary Weston), Tom Hollander (Graham Claydon), Lisa Gay Hamilton (Jennifer Ayers-Moore), Stephen Root (Curt Reynolds)
- Editor(s): Paul Tothill
- Cinematographer: Seamus McGarvey
- Country Of Origin: USA, UK