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The Soloist

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The homeless. They are everywhere --on the street corners and the park benches. Often, we try to pretend they’re not there. Perhaps we’re too ashamed to look into their eyes and then walk away. According to recent statistics, in Los Angeles alone, there are over 90,000 homeless people trying to survive on the streets. Each of these people have hopes and dreams, fears and desires, but we are often too busy to take time to notice.
Based on a true story and brilliantly directed by Joe Wright, “The Soloist” tells the tells the tale of one man’s attempt to help a homeless man with a unique talent. Steve Lopez (Robert Downey Jr) is a disgruntled journalist searching for a greater purpose in life when he stumbles on a bedraggled homeless man named Nathanial Ayers (Jamie Foxx) playing a two-stringed violin. The movie follows the growing friendship of the two men, as Steve Lopez tries to help his friend get off the streets and find a better life, even as he learns more about the debilitating mental illness that has forced Ayers onto the street. Though Ayers is a brilliant and gifted musician, his mind is full of terror and confusion. As the movie progresses, Lopez comes to see that while he can never “fix” Ayers, his friendship has transformed both men into better people.
The movie is a cinematographic masterpiece. Perhaps one of the most affecting scenes in the film is when Lopez takes Ayers to see a concert. The film allows the viewer into Ayers’ head to see how Ayers sees the music, in beautiful, transcendental shapes and colors. But other scenes are much more disturbing as one witnesses how Ayers sees the world through a fearful fog of schizophrenia . As Ayers becomes overwhelmed by the whispers of his troubled mind, the viewer can understand how he was driven to a life on the streets.
“The Soloist” is not only a singularly well directed piece of art, but also a touching film that will leave the audience with a new understanding and respect for those on the streets.
Rated PG-13. Directed By: Joe Wright
Written By: Susannah Grant
Starring Robert Downey Jr and Jamie Foxx



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