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The Soloist (2009)

 -  Biography | Drama | Music  -  24 April 2009 (USA)
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 38,483 users   Metascore: 61/100
Reviews: 133 user | 206 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
...
Leslie Bloom
...
Curt Reynolds
...
Flo Ayers
...
Young Nathaniel
Kokayi Ampah ...
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:

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:

£373,151 (UK) (25 September 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

Several members of the Lamp Community, a housing and care center for the mentally ill, appeared in the film and attended the Los Angeles premiere and after-party. Nathaniel Ayers is a resident and beneficiary of Lamp. See more »

Goofs

Juilliard dance is not a ballet school. Reference was made to ballerinas and you see them in tutus and make up when he is living in NYC and attending Juilliard. Although they do have ballet classes, it is a contemporary dance focus. They do not do ballets. 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

Triple Concerto, Op. 56, Mvmt. II
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

Interesting to know
26 April 2009 | by (France) – See all my reviews

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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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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