Monday, June 7, 2010
In Review......The Soloist
"I can tell you that by witnessing Mr. Ayers's courage, his humility, his faith in the power of his art, I've learned the dignity of being loyal to something you believe in. Of holding onto it, above all else. Of believing, without question, that it will carry you home" Robert Downey Jr as Steve Lopez.
I'm late in the game quite often when it comes to seeing movies. I'm okay with that. Sometimes I like to let the hoopla die down, simmer, then the oven gets turned off completely. When it cools, I rent it (sometimes I purchase it). I've watched a lot of movies knowing absolutely nothing about the content, just rented it based on who is in it, like Ellen Page for example. Ran into a few weird movies this way, but I digress......
Jamie Foxx, you did it again. Reminded me that you really.CAN. act. Yes you can sing too, you have a great voice, but above all else, you have the ability to make me feel like I'm in the scene with you. I love that.
Jamie plays Nathaniel Ayers, a street musician who possesses unbelievable talent, yet he doesn't have a home to go to at the end of the day. I learned quickly that he's also mentally ill, and I was saddened by this. By his entire situation actually. Seeing the trouble that exists on the LA streets is tough, harsh realities coming alive on my tv screen.
But even in the midst of all of that, he plays. As if his life depends on it. I enjoy hearing the sounds of a violin, or a cello, being plucked softly, or loudly depending on the piece. The sounds of this movie made me want to pause the dialogue so I could just listen to the music.
Robert Downey Jr plays Steve Lopez, a columnist that stumbles on to Nathaniel one day by accident and like most writers I know, immediately envisions the "write this story" sign flashed above his head in bright neon lights. Steve Lopez is a guy I could be friends with. He's not perfect, definitely human with flaws, but a deep thinker and once he believes in something, he fights for it regardless of personal cost. When I see these traits in someone, I'm drawn to them. A person that goes out of their way to help, even if who they're helping comes in the form of someone society would deem "hopeless". You know that old saying, "When you help someone, in essence, you are helping yourself". I became so frustrated in the outcome of his efforts to get this obviously troubled man some medication. I held out hope for this. But since I don't give away the ending when I review a movie, I'll let you see for yourself what happens.
Throughout the movie there was an overdub of Steve's voice talking into his little recorder that writers use to save their thoughts. Because of this, I knew that his article did in fact get written. He titled it "Points West" and it began with "A year ago, I met a man who was down on his luck and thought I might be able to help him. I don't know that I have...."
The way Nathaniel Ayers talks to himself (and others) in the movie reminded me of Rain Man. The repetitive, almost manic, use of sentences without pause, and the amazing memory that is usually focused on one topic at a time. I could tell right away that this man was no dummy. Steve learns that Nathaniel studied at Julliard, so of course that begged the question, "how did you get HERE then?"
I want you to find out how he got there. It's worth watching his journey. I have two categories when it comes to movies. Buy it, or rent it? I bought this one. I'm glad I did.
So, during breakfast, do you mind if I put Beethoven on?
See you soon,
"Tones sound, and roar and storm about me until I have set them down in notes" Ludwig van Beethoven