Soloist (Blu Ray)

Directed By: Joe Wright Starring: Jamie Foxx Robert Downey

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Product Overview

Academy Award nominee Robert Downey Jr. and Academy Award winner Jamie Foxx star in an extraordinary and inspiring true story of how a chance meeting can change a life. The Soloist tells the poignant and ultimately soaring tale of a Los Angeles newspaper reporter who discovers a brilliant and distracted street musician, with unsinkable passion, and the unique friendship and bond that transforms both their lives. The remarkable performances make for an unforgettable experience in what is hailed as "a courageous and uncompromising film"

Specifications

Studio Paramount
SKU 211348799
UPC 097360714845
UPC 14 00097360714845
Format Blu-Ray DVD
Release Date 5/31/2011
Rating Rating
Keywords
Journalists/Journalism
Los Angeles, California
Mental Illness
Reporters
Theatrical Release
True Story
Editors Note
Note Director Joe Wright (ATONEMENT, PRIDE & PREJUDICE) brings the true story of an unlikely friendship to life in THE SOLOIST. An award-winning columnist with the Los Angeles Times, Steve Lopez (Robert Downey Jr.) ultimately becomes an advocate for L.A.?s homeless population when he meets Nathaniel Ayers (Jamie Foxx), a talented musician who's been playing a two-stringed violin while living on the streets and battling mental illness. Struck by Ayers?s passion for music, Lopez begins to write a series of columns about his new acquaintance while attempting to get him off the streets and playing music again. Amidst numerous achievements and setbacks, Lopez and Ayers develop a friendship based on mutual respect despite their many differences, and Lopez rediscovers his humanity.^While the focus of the film is the relationship that develops between the two men, the film also tackles the harsh realities of homelessness and the plight of the mentally ill. Lending authenticity to the story, a number of L.A.?s homeless population were cast as extras in the film. An additional subplot is the quandary that daily newspapers face as the world and the news increasingly go electronic, and popular news becomes more sensationalistic. Foxx is both heartbreaking and life-affirming as Ayers, whose undiagnosed schizophrenia drove him away from Juilliard as a young man, and whose fierce independence keeps him on the streets. Downey Jr. turns in a nuanced performance as Lopez, who finally realizes that while he may not be able to save Ayers, he can accept him as he is. Catherine Keener, Lisa Gay Hamilton, and Tom Hollander appear in supporting roles.
Reviews
Hollywood Reporter "Robert Downey Jr. and Jamie Foxx are on fire in the lead roles: They're both charismatic as hell without sacrificing any of the emotional honesty necessary for you to believe that these movie stars are a scruffy reporter and mentally ill musician." 04/16/2009
USA Today 3 stars out of 4 -- "The cello's evocative, often melancholy sound envelops THE SOLOIST, highlighting the poignant appeal of this heartfelt film." 04/24/2009
New York Times "[I]ts commitment to the material feels honest, nowhere more so than in Mr. Downey's darkly shaded, nuanced performance, one that deepens this film with its insistence on the fundamental mysteries of human character." 04/24/2009
Wall Street Journal "Mr. Wright and his colleagues have made a movie with a spaciousness of its own, a brave willingness to explore such mysteries of the mind and heart as the torture that madness can inflict, and the rapture that music can confer." 04/24/2009
Washington Post "It's impossible not to be moved by THE SOLOIST, starring Robert Downey Jr. and Jamie Foxx....The film is suffused with heartbreak and humanism, as it takes one man's grim story -- early promise, bright future, mental breakdown, despair -- and turns it into a spiritual meditation on friendship." 04/24/2009
Directors
Joe Wright
Actors
Jamie Foxx
Robert Downey
Cast & Crew
Tom Hollander - Star
Jamie Foxx - Star
Lisa Gay Hamilton - Star
Robert Downey Jr. - Star
Catherine Keener - Star
Jeff Skoll - Executive Producer
Gary Foster - Producer
Dario Marianelli - Composer
Steve Lopez - Source Writer
Eric Fellner - Executive Producer
Patricia Whitcher - Executive Producer
Susannah Grant - Screenwriter
Tim Bevan - Executive Producer
Seamus McGarvey - Director of Photography
Russ Krasnoff - Producer
Joe Wright - Director
Technical Info
Original Release Date 2009
Catalog ID 071484
UPC 00097360714845
Number of Discs 1
Running Time 116 minutes
Color Color
Aspect Ratio
Widescreen  1.85:1
Reviews
ReviewSource ReelViews
Review One of the most difficult things for a filmmaker to accomplish is to craft a drama that provides emotional satisfaction without resorting to overt manipulation. Director Joe Wright has thus far achieved this twice, with a superlative adaptation of "Pride and Prejudice" and a version of "Atonement". Perhaps Keira Knightley (who was in those movies but is not in this one) is his muse or maybe Wright's talents are not well suited for this adaptation of Steve Lopez's true-life book. Whatever the case, this motion picture strikes enough wrong notes to keep it out of the must-see category. It's not hard to understand why Paramount pulled "The Soloist" from its original pre-Oscar December 2008 slot for the less competitive purgatory of late April - quite simply, this is not Oscar caliber material...As one might expect from a "based on a true story" motion pictures, some of the facts have been altered to fit the needs of a screenplay. (For example, in real life, Steve Lopez is happily married, not divorced as he is in the movie.) The real Lopez has maintained, however, that corners were not cut in the representation of Nathaniel and the character in the film is an accurate mirror of his friend. As a book, Lopez's account of his relationship with Nathaniel is compelling; it is considerably less so in movie form. Much of the story's humanity comes from Lopez's writing, and that is lost in the screenplay (despite occasional voiceover excerpts). The Soloist is neither wrongheaded nor inept, but it is strangely inert. Of all the things I might have expected, leaving the theater largely unconcerned about either of the characters was not one of them, yet that is what happened.
ReviewDate
ReviewPage
Reviewer James Berardinelli
ReviewRating 7
Quotes
Connie Ogle, Miami Herald Downey gives a nervy, riveting performance...
Stephanie Zacharek, Salon.com A triumphant movie about failure.

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