The Soloist (2009)

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In 2005, the only thing hurting Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez more than his face from a recent bike accident was his pressing need for story ideas. That is when he discovers Nathaniel Ayers, a mentally ill, homeless street musician who possesses extraordinary talent, even through his half-broken instruments. Inspired by his story, Lopez writes an acclaimed series of articles about Ayers and attempts to do more to help both him and the rest of the underclass of LA have a better life. However, Lopez's good intentions run headlong in the hard realities of the strength of Ayers' personal demons and the larger social injustices facing the homeless. Regardless, Lopez and Ayers must find a way to conquer their deepest anxieties and frustrations to hope for a brighter future for both of them.
Jamie Foxx as Nathaniel Ayers
Robert Downey Jr. as Steve Lopez
Catherine Keener as Mary Weston
Tom Hollander as Graham Claydon
Lisa Gay Hamilton as Jennifer Ayers (as Lisagay Hamilton)
Nelsan Ellis as David Carter
Rachael Harris as Leslie Bloom
Stephen Root as Curt Reynolds
Lorraine Toussaint as Flo Ayers
Justin Martin as Young Nathaniel
Kokayi Ampah as Bernie Carpenter
Patrick Tatten as Paul Jr.
Susane Lee as Marisa (as Susane E. Lee)
Marcos De Silvas as Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa
Ilia Volok as Harry Barnoff
Full cast

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My wife works with this disability and she raved about how accurate this movie portrays this illness. I had my doubts, and am not a big fan of RDJ, but he was really good and Jamie Foxx played another great role!!


Saw a screening of this last night...great music, but other than that I was bored out of my mind. Overall as a movie adaptation, I think it may have done what it had set out to do, it just wasn't the type that pulled me in.


This was a very impressive story. The acting was Academy Award quality for Robert Downing and Jammie Fox. The music was outstanding. The scenes in L.A. of the homeless people was like looking at a Charles Dickens script. Les Miserables also. The timing of this movie couldn't be better. Too bad the critics didn't pick up on that.


Per an ACTUAL advance press preview I attended on Tues 4/21. This 110-minute movie was based on a novel which in turn was based on a true-story. The MAIN reason to go see THE SOLOIST would be to witness compelling performances by both Jamie Foxx and Robert Downer Jr.(RDJ) in a movie with high quality production values - but lacking a coherent central unifying theme. It was as if THE SOLOIST was trying to accomplish too much within a set short amount of time:- 1) was this movie about a schizophrenic musical prodigy? or, 2) about a reporter on the road to personal redemption?, 3) or a commentary on the gargantuan homeless problem/issue in Los Angeles? 4) maybe it was about the healing quality of Beethoven's music? or, 5) rather was it about alcoholism, mental-illness, drug-addiction? THE SOLOIST's failure of a central theme rewarded us a messy tuneless 'masterpiece' with a abysmally mediocre ending. VERDICT: Fans of JF and RDJ - a MUST GO. NOT kids-friendly.


Please, everyone listen. As it says in the descroption: "The Soloist is a biographical drama about real-life musical prodigy Nathaniel Anthony Ayers". This is not an action movie, this is not a movie that will have great digital effects. It is a movie that portrays this man for who he really is. I saw the movie tonight at a special screening, and i enjoyed it. It goes through the whole life story about Nathaniel and his relaionship with L.A. Times reporter Steve Lopez. It is a movie that makes you feel good. I thought Foxx did a tremendous job with the role of Ayers throughout the movie. It shows you the obstacles that one has to go through to achieve a dream and be who he or she is.I suggest you go see this movie. It is a slow paced movie but it is meant to be like that since it is a "biographical drama". Good movie. It is a movie for adults, not kids since they will probably get bored and wouldnt understand what was going on.

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