Monday, June 29, 2009

The Soloist

The Soloist is the kind of movie that is made to win those fancy Academy of so-and-so Awards, but when it finally hits theaters, everyone is left going, "what's the big deal?" Well The Soloist was pushed back from November to April as there would be no way for the film to make its release date with such a short time to film and since there weren't any openings past November that would allow the movie to be nominated for awards, the producers decided to stick it at the end slot of the pre-summer months. And yet if you watch the very well edited trailer, you still would think that this movie would be good. It's directed by Joe Wright (director of Atonement) and starred Jamie Foxx (who was garnering some Best Actor rumors based on screened footage) and the re-birthed Robert Downey Jr. (who was garnering some Best Supporting Actor rumors based on screened footage). The premise is that an LA Times writer named Steve Lopez (Downey Jr.) one day comes upon the homeless Nathaniel Ayers (Foxx) who is playing his string instrument in the park and he turns out to be good. Well Lopez writes a column about Nathaniel and the two become brothers and so on and so on.... 

It could be a movie that would pull at your heartstrings and make you weep. It is pretty much Reign Over Me with Jamie Foxx replacing Adam Sandler and Robert Downey Jr. replacing Don Cheadle.  And therein lies the problem, it would be a good movie if it wasn't something you've seen one hundred times before because The Soloist is unfortunately not as unique as you might want it to be, in fact it's quite generic and predictable (I could've called it "The Pursuit of Happyness with mental illness and news reporting" as well). Despite the actors trying to garner as much sympathy as they can, the overly inspirational nature of the movie clashes with the sad cruelty that life can sometimes bring and the result this need for the audience to try and find something to connect to. But since the acts of Downey's missionary preaching and Foxx's providing feeling through music don't seem to really cut it, the movie is just begging for us to cry and feel for nothing at all. 

Part of the problem does seem to be the lack of direction, whether this is Wright's problem or just one of the flaws of this kind of film is something I'm not well informed enough to comment on. After sitting through a lot of emotional mumble-jumble, I hate to sound derogatory but to sum it all up, The Soloist moves like it has a pair of balls but it just not man enough to actually do something with them. And yes, William Shakespeare, I'm not.

No comments:

Post a Comment