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On the lonely roads of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, two men forge an improbable friendship that will change both of their lives forever. Solo is a Senegalese cab driver working to provide a better life for his young family. William is a tough Southern good ol' boy with a lifetime of regrets. One man's American dream is just beginning, while the other's is quickly winding down. But despite their differences, both men soon realize they need each other more than either is willing to admit. Through this unlikely but unforgettable friendship, GOODBYE SOLO deftly explores the passing of a generation as well as the rapidly changing face of America. Written by
The protagonist's taxi is shown on the Linville Viaduct. This is not on the route between Blowing Rock and Winston-Salem. See more »
Why you laughing?
I'm not laughing just now.
No, No! You told me it would cost $200. Well I'll give you a thousand, to take me out there on October 20th.
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I saw this in the "Someone to Watch" and "American Independents" sidebars at the 33rd Cleveland International Film Festival.
Ramin Bahrani's work improves dramatically with this story of a Senegalese cab driver trying to make a life in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The story arc of his relationship with William, a fare who contracts for a one-way ride a couple of weeks in the future is well-drawn and quite satisfying. All of the prime relationships in this story are deftly developed: Solo's quest to "save" William (from what is clearly a suicide trip), Solo's efforts at providing for his second family (with concomitant tension from Wife #2), the effect of step-daughter (?) Alex on William, William's mystery relationship to the young man selling tickets at the local multi-plex.
The film was excellent technically. Bahrani likes "dark", yet the framing and focus provide for a nice intimacy with the characters. The "money" scene at the end (not giving away the plot here!) is beautifully framed, raw, elemental, vertigo-inducing without looking down.
Having not liked Man Push Cart (his first film) I feel that with this movie I have found a middle ground with Bahrani: I cared about the characters and I was told a story. But Bahrani likes mystery. And here there is a lot of mystery, very satisfying mystery. Worth seeing twice (which I did!).
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