6.7/10
46,567
152 user 212 critic

The Soloist (2009)

PG-13 | | Biography, Drama, Music | 24 April 2009 (USA)
Trailer
2:32 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
A newspaper journalist discovers a homeless musical genius and tries to improve his situation.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (book)
Reviews
Popularity
4,793 ( 85)
1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Jennifer Ayers (as Lisagay Hamilton)
...
...
...
Curt Reynolds
...
Flo Ayers
...
...
Bernie Carpenter
...
Paul Jr.
...
Marisa (as Susane E. Lee)
...
Mayor Villaraigosa
...
Harry Barnoff
Edit

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:

Life has a mind of its own 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:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

| |

Language:

Release Date:

24 April 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Imagining Beethoven  »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$60,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$9,716,458, 26 April 2009, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$31,670,931, 5 July 2009
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

(DeLuxe)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

In the scene where Nathaniel Ayers is carrying his stuff to his new apartment, he can be seen wearing, over his costume, a large yellow necklace which says "America", and shows a logo. America is the name of one of the most popular soccer teams in Mexico. See more »

Goofs

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 »

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

Sonata for Cello & Piano, Op. 102, No. 1, Mvmt. I
Written by Ludwig van Beethoven
Adapted by Dario Marianelli
Performed by The Los Angeles Philharmonic
Conducted by Benjamin Wallfisch
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
A solid drama on a human scale
28 April 2009 | by See all my reviews

After catching snippets of the lackluster reviews (two-stars in the Globe and Mail) I was dis-heartened. It's been a few months since I'd been moved by the trailer. However, the film never came out. I thought it might have been shelved.

I was glad to see it was indeed playing. In spite of the reviews, I persevered on the strength of the trailer. It seemed to me there was too much talent and pedigree involved for it to actually suck. And you know what? it's a terrific film with a poignant story. Perhaps lower expectations propped up my perceptions of it, however, it still stands as time well spent.

The film is based on a true story involving a top columnist at the LA Times, Steve Lopez, played with grace by Robert Downey Jr., who becomes invested in one of his more colourful subjects, Nathaniel Ayers, an accomplished musician overcome by mental illness, now living on the streets of LA portrayed by Jamie Foxx, who rambles his way to a convincing performance.

The film is a satisfying adult drama that doesn't lose it's direction. It doesn't pander to it's audience. There is no random violence, no guns, but indeed simply good story telling with great characterizations. It's a decent film that deserves better treatment in the press. It has a noble heart that succeeds in telling a great human story.

It resonates and strikes a chord.


73 of 87 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 152 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page