Friday, August 14, 2009

The Soloist

The Soloist is a true story about a Los Angeles Times reporter who discovers a mentally ill violinist named Nathaniel Ayers who is living on the streets. The reporter, Steve Lopez, who is played by Robert Downey Jr. - who continues to roll out films after his long cocaine-related stint in prison, is writing a series on this virtuoso, while pushing him to come off of the street and into an orchestra where he can get his due recognition.

The mentally ill artists, played by Jamie Foxx, who many think really is mentally ill after his tirade about teenager Miley Cyrus, has trouble with reality and hides in his own world. Foxx is very convincing in his role and, despite his public indiscretions, continues to prove his value in Hollywood.

I found the story to be controversial. Lopez is writing a story about his relationship with Ayers, though he is manipulating the life of Ayers. Basically Lopez was creating his own story to write. Should a reporter write about life as he views it or life as he makes it? Lopez went on to write several books about the experiences that he helped lead with Ayers.

The movie, which was directed by Joe Wright and also starred Catherine Keener, is an hour and 45 minutes long and is rated PG-13 for "thematic elements", whatever that is, drug use, and language.

The movie moves really slow and it appeared to be longer than it really was. The ending was anticlimactic and just seemed to end without any conflict resolution. Despite his recent exciting movies such as Ironman and The Zodiac, Robert Downey Jr. needs to chalk this one up as a dud. I give it 2 stars.

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