My husband and I enjoy watching selected movies and television shows in the evenings. Since we enjoy the delicious freedom of being cable-free, our viewing pleasure is not dictated by time. A movie is just as new to us six years or thirty-six years after its release as it was the day it first came out.
So we finally got around to seeing this incredible movie, The Soloist, last night. It was originally released in 2009.
If you saw Jamie Foxx in Ray, the biography of Ray Charles, you already know he’s an amazing, amazing actor. And while I’m not really a fan of the comic book Iron Man series, that takes nothing away from my appreciation of Robert Downey Jr. as an actor, especially in this role.
The Soloist is a true story about a friendship that develops between a columnist for the Los Angeles Times, Steve Lopez, and an extraordinary musician named Nathaniel Ayers who’s homeless and playing on the streets of the city.
Nathaniel has schizophrenia. He is a cellist who’s playing a violin with two strings when the two men meet. Through the stories that Lopez writes about him, Nathaniel is given a cello.
I won’t spoil the rest of the story. But I do want to dwell on the fact that the extras portraying homeless people in the movie ARE homeless people living on the L.A. streets. Watching them, I realized how many people are invisible to too many of us, and how restricting the definition of normal is for human beings.
I knew before the movie ended that I would be thinking and re-thinking this one for a long time. I’m not sure where that thought process is going but I’d like to invite you along.
This is a great movie. Start here.