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The Soloist (2009)

PG-13  |   |  Biography, Drama, Music  |  24 April 2009 (USA)
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 41,898 users   Metascore: 61/100
Reviews: 140 user | 208 critic | 33 from Metacritic.com

A Los Angeles journalist befriends a homeless Juilliard-trained musician, while looking for a new article for the paper.

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(screenplay), (book)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Graham Claydon
...
Jennifer Ayers (as Lisagay Hamilton)
...
David Carter
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Leslie Bloom
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Curt Reynolds
...
Flo Ayers
...
Young Nathaniel
Kokayi Ampah ...
Bernie Carpenter
...
Paul Jr.
...
Marisa (as Susane E. Lee)
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Mayor Villaraigosa
...
Harry Barnoff
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Storyline

In 2005, the only thing hurting Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez more than his face from a recent bike accident was his pressing need for story ideas. That is when he discovers Nathaniel Ayers, a mentally ill, homeless street musician who possesses extraordinary talent, even through his half-broken instruments. Inspired by his story, Lopez writes an acclaimed series of articles about Ayers and attempts to do more to help both him and the rest of the underclass of LA have a better life. However, Lopez's good intentions run headlong in the hard realities of the strength of Ayers' personal demons and the larger social injustices facing the homeless. Regardless, Lopez and Ayers must find a way to conquer their deepest anxieties and frustrations to hope for a brighter future for both of them. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

No one changes anything by playing it safe See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, some drug use and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

| |

Language:

Release Date:

24 April 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Imagining Beethoven  »

Box Office

Budget:

$60,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$9,716,458 (USA) (24 April 2009)

Gross:

£1,060,061 (UK) (9 October 2009)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

(DeLuxe)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Despite his distrust of two-dimensional images, Nathaniel Ayers did attend the premiere of this film in Los Angeles with his family, who flew in for the occasion. He rarely watches movies or television. See more »

Goofs

In his commentary during the scene when Lopez meets Ayers in the tunnel, director Joe Wright admits that the traffic is all vehicles from the production going around and around (at approx. 17:30). Just after he says that (between 17:35 and 17:59), several vehicles in the background of the shot are indeed visible, though out of focus, making u-turns one after another. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Construction Worker: [greeting his co-workers] Buen dia, muchachos.
Steve Lopez: [narrating] "Points West" by Steve Lopez. A construction worker in Griffith Park heard the
Steve Lopez: [swerving his bicycle to avoid a raccoon] Hey!
Steve Lopez: [continuing narration] He saw a cyclist cartwheel off his bike and slam face-first into the unforgiving asphalt of Riverside Drive.
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the end of the credits, the music concludes with the sound of a cassette tape grinding to a stop, referencing Lopez's omnipresent recorder. See more »


Soundtracks

Symphony No. 3 (Eroica), Op. 55, Mvmt. I, II and III
Written by Ludwig van Beethoven
Adapted by Dario Marianelli
Performed by Los Angeles Philharmonic
Conducted by Benjamin Wallfisch
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
The Truth about Schizophrenia
12 May 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I sometimes work clinically with schizophrenics. This film shows us the truth about working with severely mentally ill people. David, the man who runs the shelter for the homeless honestly spoke the truth with his stance that is opposite of what the Pharmaceutical Industry, most of psychiatry and the legal system try to make us believe. David was my hero in this movie.

All though the movie goes quickly over Jamie Fox's childhood trauma and losses -- it's still there, i.e. no father and the truck on fire represent some of the traumas that created his illness. Homeless people with mental illness did not come from healthy childhoods. Almost all came from repeated childhood trauma.(see New Zealand Psychologist John Read PhD and colleagues, the ACE Study from the CDC, and Charles Whitfield's book The Truth about Mental Illness, 2004).

Hollywood did not cover over the painful truths in this story. Jamie Fox's character's mother and his sister were good people and that comes through but they couldn't prevent his wounding. At the end of the film, we are told "90,000 Homeless people in Los Angeles." We walked out of the theater overwhelmed with that figure and uplifted by this true story.

If you're really interested in the truth about schizophrenia there is an excellent DVD documentary called Take These Broken Wings: Recover from Schizophrenia without Medication by Daniel Mackler


45 of 64 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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How could you allow these mentally ill people on the streets? thanasaki_mtl
movie with best depiction of schizophrenia? eamo-1
One of the worst performances of 2009. brettjm3
What were the colorful lights Nathaniel sees at the rehearsal? cls-6
His playing heners
Anyone know how a poor boy from Ohio funded muisc tuition? bloovee
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