6.7/10
46,378
150 user 211 critic

The Soloist (2009)

PG-13 | | Biography, Drama, Music | 24 April 2009 (USA)
Clip
0:59 | Clip

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

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

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (book)
Reviews
Popularity
4,616 ( 374)

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.

Watch the video

1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »
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

The scene (during the orchestra's performance of Beethoven) where Nathaniel imagines each color associated with a sound, refers to a neurological phenomenon called "Synesthesia", in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory, or cognitive pathway. It is known to have affected many popular musicians, painters and authors like Stevie Wonder, Van Gogh, and Vladimir Nabokov. 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 »

Connections

References Hawaii Five-O (1968) See more »

Soundtracks

Canción Mixteca
Written by José López Alavés (as Jose Lopez Alaves)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

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 150 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page