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Dramas > The Soloist (Joe Wright, 2009)

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message 1: by Phillip (last edited Apr 28, 2009 09:46AM) (new)

Phillip | 10778 comments The Soloist (Joe Wright, 2009)

The Soloist is the new entry by Joe Wright (director of Pride and Prejudice and Atonement). The film is based on the book by Steve Lopez, a Los Angeles Times writer (played by Robert Downey Jr) that tells the story of Nathaniel Ayers (played by Jamie Foxx), an aspiring young cellist whose career at Julliard goes off the rails when struck with bouts of schizophrenia. The LA Times staffwriter discovered Mr. Ayers playing violin on the street and the two men developed a friendship that allowed both individuals to transcend certain destructive patterns of behavior.

The film warrants praise on numerous accounts. Roberth Downey Jr and Jamie Foxx go head to head with the challenges that come with unpredictable behavior and create believable characters that defy cliches. The politics of exploitive journalists are explored and Robert Downey Jr. offers a complicated character who discovers unforeseen motivations and outcomes. He puts himself on the line on numerous ocaasions for Ayers, some are met with success and others with near-disaster. Foxx seems genuinely haunted, passionate, and uncommonly restrained in his portrayal of a homeless man who struggles with his demons, and allows us to experience the redemptive power of music (and friendship) in the process.

Los Angeles itself is a character in the film, replete with skid row shelters, crack alleys, claustrophobic interiors, and world class performance space Disney Hall, where Essa Pekka Salonen conducts the LA Philharmonic in rounsing readings of Beethoven, our fallen hero's guiding light. The film has arousing visual energy as it captures crowded streets and high-denisty traffic. Ayers admits he can't play music in a room, he has to merge with the sounds of the streets around him. Wright captures the intensity of city life and allows it to penetrate the relationships of its occupants.

The soloists offers an unflinching view of a side of Los Angeles most films would try to disguise or glamorize. Joe Wright instead creates a series of congested portraits of urban problems and doesn't pretend to offer easy answers or quick-fix happy endings. In contrast, it presents beautiful music from start to finish and features the 3rd Symphony by Ludwig van Beethoven as a motif lodged in Ayer's consciousness. It also reminds us the value of true friendship that survives the turbulent ups and downs of over-populated urban life in Los Angeles where over 90,000 people are homeless.

message 2: by Sam (new)

Sam | 548 comments Domo arigato darlin' ...

I had just read about this somewhere else over the weekend and got v excited ... and now I can't wait to see it ... but like most cool things in this world - it's gonna take a little time for it to filter down my half of the world ...

a little off topic - but maybe not so much 'cos of your last sentence ... have you seen Dark Days?

message 3: by Phillip (new)

Phillip | 10778 comments dark days?

no, i don't know that one.
how about some hints?

message 4: by Sam (new)

Sam | 548 comments I'll write it up in a new thread Phillip ... you know I like to follow proper protocol ;o)

message 5: by Phillip (new)

Phillip | 10778 comments hahahahaha!

yeah, you're a play by the rules kind of woman, i can tell.

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