The Soloist – the Movie


What an outstanding film. As you can see, this poster was issued for the planned release for last year, but the film just opened in the USA on Friday. Great poster, though.

This is a movie about humanity, heart, friendship, art, grace, goodness, against the backdrop of acute homelessness in a city and country where you would think we would care more for one another.

Robert Downey, jr. plays Steve Lopez, a columnist for the LA Times, who encounters Nathaniel Ayers, a homeless man playing a two stringed violin in a downtown traffic tunnel. They become friends even though Nathaniel is mentally ill and Lopez has to feel his way along as the best way to relate to Nathaniel. The thing is, Lopez never gives up. He is a friend to Nathaniel.  Jamie Foxx plays Nathaniel. Both performances soar off the screen.

Susannah Grant wrote the script, and I loved it. She also wrote Erin Brockovich. Grant knows her way around social issues and tells stories of injustice in ways that make us want to do something rather than just feel guilty.

Thought the cinematography was really fine.

 I first “met” Steve Lopez when I came to Los Angeles in 2002 and Sister Frances told me what a great writer he is and that I would want to read what he has to say. He’s smart and funny and he sees things other people don’t – and has the guts and grace to say it.

This is true.

This is a film not to be missed and it asks, as so many Hollywood – whether big studio or independent – films do: what difference can I make? Longer review to come ….


  1. I saw the movie with a friend of mine. We both lthought it was excellent and should be nominated for an award. Both main actors were surperb in their respective roles. It brought out the plight of the homeless in our country. We may never know who there were before they ended up on the streets and why. We just label them. I am aware of this problem but the movie opened my eyes even wider. Why is this happening in the 21st century?

  2. I agree… and I heard that an event surrounding the composer Richard Wagner is being planned in LA that will cost about 38 million dollars… and we have this huge homeless population. The film shows that art and actual charity go together. So, why the disconnect? I hope the film will raise awareness. In TIME this past week there was the story of a nun who with her organization has almost erased homelessness in her city. Can art inspire us? Yes, just the way this film has. We need art. As the film says, it is grace. I think it is grace that lets us see the other as real persons.

Comments RSS TrackBack Identifier URI

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s