After re-seeing two films, it was time to watch something new. The Soloist doesn’t seem all that new as I have been watching trailers for many months, in two continents but I look forward to it nonetheless.
I read a piece about the real life Soloist, a gifted, 1970’s Juilliard School cellist who drops out and the LA Times reporter who finds him homeless some three decades later. The Soloist, capably portrayed by Jamie Foxx, becomes a regular in the Steve Lopez (Robert Downy Jr) newspaper column and the two form an unlikely bond.
As my cinema buddy commented, the film isn’t so much about the Soloist as the reporter uncovering his story and the emotional attachment that ensues while he struggles to cope with the musician’s schizophrenia. That will be because the writer wrote the book on which the film is based.
My two favourite things are encompassed in this film; writing and music, not my style of writing or music for that matter but I am highly appreciative of both art forms. I loved seeing the orchestral scenes as well as the action from the newspaper office, the environment in which I spent 14 years of my early career. An interesting backdrop is that the LA Times is going through cut backs and redundancies whilst Lopez is obliviously fixated on Nathanial Anthony Ayers Jr and on why he can’t be ‘better’. The fact is Mr Ayers is happiest on the streets and playing his music, beyond that, he doesn’t need anything and in 2009, he is in much the same state.
The film cleverly weaves in and out of the Soloist’s early life putting the puzzle pieces together to reach the films climax.
I can’t help but be enthralled but that’s not the reason I see it twice; there is simply nothing else on but I‘m glad I do. 8/10 Smile factor 8½/10