6.7/10
48,269
155 user 215 critic

The Soloist (2009)

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

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

Director:

Joe Wright

Writers:

Susannah Grant (screenplay), Steve Lopez (book)
Reviews
Popularity
3,203 ( 748)

Through the Lens of 'Darkest Hour' Director Joe Wright

See how director Joe Wright uses his signature tracking shots to set up a visual narrative for his films, including Atonement, The Soloist, and Hanna.

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1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jamie Foxx ... Nathaniel Ayers
Robert Downey Jr. ... Steve Lopez
Catherine Keener ... Mary Weston
Tom Hollander ... Graham Claydon
LisaGay Hamilton ... Jennifer Ayers (as Lisagay Hamilton)
Nelsan Ellis ... David Carter
Rachael Harris ... Leslie Bloom
Stephen Root ... Curt Reynolds
Lorraine Toussaint ... Flo Ayers
Justin Martin ... Young Nathaniel
Kokayi Ampah ... Bernie Carpenter
Patrick Tatten ... Paul Jr.
Susane Lee ... Marisa (as Susane E. Lee)
Marcos De Silvas ... Mayor Villaraigosa
Ilia Volok ... 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:

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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | France | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 April 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Imagining Beethoven See more »

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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
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS | DTS

Color:

Color (DeLuxe)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The writing of the book and the selling of the film rights have helped pay Ayers' expenses and helped his sister, a mental health professional, set up a foundation for him. See more »

Goofs

When Lopez leaves the Lamp facility after waiting for Ayers, he gets into his Saab and sees a prostitute walk in front of his car towards some people. She is seen clearly because of the reflection of his car headlights. When the scene changes back to the car, the headlights are not on. 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.
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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 »

Connections

References American Idol (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

String Quartet No. 15, Op. 132, Mvmt. III
Written by Ludwig van Beethoven
Adapted by Dario Marianelli
Performed by The Los Angeles Philharmonic
Conducted by Benjamin Wallfisch
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Lacked development....
9 September 2009 | by BernardoLimaSee all my reviews

Steve Lopez is a Los Angeles Times columnist in need of a decent story.One day he encounters,by chance, Nathaniel Ayers, a homeless schizophrenic street musician with an abundance of talent.Lopez writes a series of articles about Nathaniel and tries to help him, to improve his conditions of living and gives him a chance to showcase his talent however Nathaniel's disease has created demons that he can't ignore and Lopez sees most of his efforts frustrated...To be honest I was expecting a way better movie, I saw the trailer months ago and it got me excited, the movie seemed to have all the ingredients to be a success,plus two amazing actors, Robert Downey Jr as Lopez and Jammie Foxx as Nathaniel.However, I felt disappointed.Lopez struggle to reach to Nathaniel and his constant efforts to help him were interesting to watch but that is pretty much everything that happens in the movie.In the end almost everything looks the same as in the beginning and not much has happened.Sure, Lopez had a small yet positive impact on Nathaniel's life and he,himself, might have gained a little something from that relationship too but I was expecting a wider range of events so to speak...I'm not saying that he should have been cured by the end of the film, as much as Hollywood loves happy endings that would be unrealistic but I did expect something to happen...some kind of development that would make this story worth telling.It never came. Maybe this story(based on real events) just doesn't translate very well to the big screen.I think the film aspired to be great but felt short.On a more positive note, Jamie Foxx's performance was great and felt very authentic.

6/10


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