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Director: Joe Wright     Starring: Jamie Foxx Robert Downey
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The Soloist (2009)
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Description
 

Learn more about Soloist (Blu Ray):

Format: Blu-Ray DVD
Sku: 211348799
UPC: 097360714845
UPC 14: 00097360714845
Rating: Game Rating Code
See more in Drama
 
No One Changes Anything By Playing It Safe.
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"

"Downey gives a nervy, riveting performance...  Connie Ogle, Miami Herald
"A triumphant movie about failure.  Stephanie Zacharek, Salon.com

Editor's 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.

Technical Info


Release Information
Video Mfg Name Studio: Paramount
Video Release Date Release Date: 5/31/2011
Video Play Time Running Time: 116 minutes
Video Release Year Original Release Date: 2009
Video CategoryId Catalog ID: 071484
Video UPC UPC: 00097360714845
Video Number of Discs Number of Discs: 1

Audio & Video
Video Audio Spec Available Audio Tracks:
Video Color Spec Video: Color

Aspect Ratio
Video Aspect Ratio Widescreen  1.85:1
Entertainment Reviews
Expert Review The Soloist - Blu-Ray DVD Review
By: Josh Lasser Blogcritics.org Reviews
Published on: 8/6/2009 9:16 AM
Sometimes a movie is just a movie, and that's just fine. There's absolutely nothing wrong with a movie being a simple tale with interesting characters. However, a problem can quickly develop when the movie in question does everything it can to destroy its simple tale by trying to be more – by trying to paint a larger picture, talk about society in general, and to generally "raise awareness" about an issue. When that happens the tale sometimes disappears and all the audience is left with is two hours of unenjoyable preaching. Such is certainly the case with The Soloist, which is coming to Blu-ray this week....read the full review

Cast & Crew

Video Cast Info Tom Hollander
Video Cast Info Jamie Foxx
Video Cast Info Lisa Gay Hamilton
Video Cast Info Robert Downey Jr.
Video Cast Info Catherine Keener
Video Cast Info Jeff Skoll - Executive Producer
Video Cast Info Gary Foster - Producer
Video Cast Info Dario Marianelli - Composer
Video Cast Info Steve Lopez - Source Writer
Video Cast Info Eric Fellner - Executive Producer
Video Cast Info Patricia Whitcher - Executive Producer
Video Cast Info Susannah Grant - Screenwriter
Video Cast Info Tim Bevan - Executive Producer
Video Cast Info Seamus McGarvey - Director of Photography
Video Cast Info Russ Krasnoff - Producer
Video Cast Info Joe Wright - Director

Professional 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

ReelViews 7 of 10
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. - James Berardinelli

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