Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Soloist (2009) 5/10


Based on the columns and novels of Steve Lopez, The Soloist follows the tales of Lopez (Robert Downey Jr.) and Nathanial Ayers Jr. (Jamie Foxx), a schizophrenic musician and Julliard dropout, as they befriend one another and attempt to make sense of their lives.

The tale of Nathanial Anthony Ayers Junior is a tale anyone with any sort of heart should enjoy, and in it find some of the beauty and strength with which he has lead a painfully dark life. Easy to praise for its accurate depiction of Schizophrenia, its sufferers, and great performances from Foxx and Downey, Soloist gets by more on what it intends than what it actually offers.

The experience of watching The Soloist is as up and down as the life of Ayers, jumping around from heartfelt scenes, character studies, unnecessary imagery, boredom, and back again. The background scenes feel forced, and incoherent in their attempt to help define how Ayers became the way he is, because they try to over-simplify a huge complex series of events. Joe Wright's direction seems incoherent, far lost from his stylistic Atonement, or genuine story Pride & Prejudice.

Yet as I said, it's not all bad. Foxx and Downey Jr. do superb jobs with their roles, and the supporting cast each deliver what's asked of them. The use of actual homeless people and on location shooting gives a real feeling of what it was like to be Ayers during his life crisis. As well the movie treats its source material with a sense of duty to not over glorify, no big dramatic over the top life transforming moment, instead just a series of events that happened, and helped shape the man. All of these are very commendable and enjoyable aspects that make the Soloist worth the view to begin with.

A fine, but flawed, attempt at telling the life of Nathanial Ayers, that should be more emotional than it is, The Soloist may be worth the view, but don't go in expecting what it should have been.

0 better thoughts:

Related Posts with Thumbnails