The Soloist is a very difficult movie to watch. It deals with a lot of society problems and it does so through the story of a single individual, Nathaniel Ayers, a homeless man suffering from schizophrenia. Nathaniel Ayers is also an extraordinarily gifted soloist that’s in love with the music and the instruments he plays. Complete and overwhelming dedication and passion that this man possesses will interest a reporter for Los Angeles Times that will tell his story in his newspaper. Soon life will start to turn around for Nathaniel, but is he ready for that change?
Although the movie shows these segments of Nathaniel’s transitions with sort of a cute vibe, schizophrenia is not cute at all, but I guess movie would not be such a success if they did not use the humor. Based on a true story, I think that everyone involved felt a duty towards the story and did their best. Jamie Foxx learned to play the cello, had his teeth grounded to look more homeless and Downey along with Keener and Hollander nailed their respective roles. In case you were wondering how’s Nathaniel doing these days, he seems to be doing reasonably well. His sister used the money from the books and movie to set up a foundation for people with mental health issues. A movie with a real L.A. vibe, shot on the skid row and telling a story that you should hear, needs to be on your watch-list.
Director: Joe Wright
Cast: Jamie Foxx, Robert Downey Jr., Catherine Keener, Tom Hollander, Lisa Gay Hamilton, Nelsan Ellis
Fun Stuff: Most of the homeless people shown in the film are actually homeless.