My parents came over last night to hang out with our kids and see Bianca for her birthday, so Becky and I went to the AMC theaters in Highlands Ranch to see the new flick The Soloist. I’m still way behind on movie reviews, but I figured I would stay current by writing a review of this movie first.
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The Fandango website at The Soloist describes the movie as follows…
“The Soloist is a biographical drama about real-life musical prodigy Nathaniel Anthony Ayers, who dropped out of Julliard after developing schizophrenia and became a homeless musician on the streets of Los Angeles. Journalist Steve Lopez discovers the former classical music prodigy, playing his violin on the streets. As Lopez endeavors to help the homeless man find his way back, a unique friendship is formed, one that transforms both their lives.”
The Soloist is a drama about a newspaper reporter and a musically gifted homeless person having an encounter in Los Angeles at a time when Hurricane Katrina is in the news and newspapers are starting their layoffs. It’s really about the gifted musician, turned homeless man, Nathaniel Anthony Ayers, who went crazy while living in the basement of his home as a young man and losing himself in his music. Of course, the famous University that he was accepted to never picked up on his illness and let him head to the streets. There’s a shocker, that is never brought up in the film. However, it’s also about Steve Lopez and his desire to change the man and save him from his demons. It’s pretty slow at times, so it’s a thinking flick and not a “Wow, that’s cool.” film, which is why I am rating it as a Rental, but a good rental.
It’s not really implied in the film, but as you watch this movie pay attention to how isolated he is a a young man living in the basement of an old home and the glimpses you get of what’s going on around him. It seemed to me, like Nathaniel had seen a ghost or something paranormal, with voices speaking to him and he is living in a life of fear. Call it schizophrenia or whatever you want, but when external voices are speaking to you and you’re afraid to go into a closed apartment because of monsters in your head, that’s beyond the natural realm of reality.
However, the movie isn’t about changing him or freeing him from his demons and I think that’s what I didn’t like about it. It’s a good movie, but they slam the Christian guy who wants to help him get free of what is tormenting him, by arranging a solo concert to overcome his fears. Even though that’s the ultimate goal of Lopez until the end of the film when he realizes he has no power to set anyone free. The Christian guy is evil by association with Christ, but Lopez is great because he works for a newspaper, was what I felt was being portrayed. The acting is really superb in this movie.
In spite of its shortcomings, The Soloist was a good film, if for nothing else, to see that there are some serious problems in America today that are all too often ignored. We have Drug America, Rich America, Middle-Class America, Poor America and Psychotic America. This comes out loud and clear in this movie and your heart breaks for the 90,000 homeless people living in Los Angeles alone, but you should also be disgusted that our politicians suck as bad as they really do, by not taking care of these people in need.
John – ** Rental
Becky – ** Rental
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