A chronicle of John Lennon's first years, focused mainly in his adolescence and his relationship with his stern aunt Mimi, who raised him, and his absentee mother Julia, who re-entered his life at a crucial moment in his young life.
Kristin Scott Thomas,
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 (email@example.com)
The real Nathaniel Ayers was invited to view the filming of the scenes at Disney Hall in Los Angeles, but opted on the day to set up his cello and music across the street and continue playing saying "I really got something going here. I think I'm going to stay and play this just a little bit longer." Steve Lopez spoke about this incident in an interview conducted by Dave Davies for National Public Radio's program Fresh Air in April 2008. He added: "I look(ed) across (the street from Disney Hall) and there he is sawing away, as he calls it. And inside this building there are maybe three hundred people, the LA Philharmonic, the cast, the crew, are shooting a movie about his life. And I said to the producer Gary Foster 'You know what Gary, we picked the right name for this thing, The Soloist. There he is.'" See more »
A utility truck is seen in the tunnel when Lopez and Nathaniel are talking. The utility truck was not there before Lopez stopped his car. See more »
I am a musician and live in France, where the release date of this movie is scheduled for Sept. 2 2009. I obviously cannot write a review at the present time but have nevertheless read the book.
What no one mentions in all of the above comments is that Nathaniel Ayers was originally a Double Bass student at Julliard and NOT a cellist. That instrument-- along with the violin, trumpet, and piano, all came about later on. Put any instrument into his hands and he'll do his best to master it.
Having attended Yale university, I did not know him personally, even though we studied with one of the greatest bass teachers in the New York area at that time: Homer Mensch. Recently our paths did finally cross thanks to one of our mutual acquaintances, bassist and composer Joe Russo. Nathan likes to write down the names of his long lost good friends on walls, or any writing surface, and Joe's name is always there, scribbled amongst his favorites. This was where Steve noticed Joe's name and Googled him to look up his website. A new and close friendship resulted between them, and the many anecdotes that Joe pulled out of Nathan's past were worth their weight in gold to Steve, enough to devote the entire chapter 8 of the book to Joe!
To me, reading this book made me come to the conclusion that every man has his hour in life, and Nathan's time had come now. The chances of 2 men, one homeless and one not, being pulled together through the sound of a violin in a rush hour tunnel, were undoubtedly written in the stars. Through articles, a book and now a film on Nathan, Steve helped uplift a poor and abandoned part of society to a rank that it never imagined nor asked for, but morally deserved. We all know that the Internet is indeed capable of connecting and reconnecting people in the present, but only music can magically, throughout time, open the doors that connect all of us to one another.
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