Movie: The Soloist

My Take:

There will be spoilers!

I liked it.  It was right at two hours and ten minutes (could have shaved it down a little).  I really think Jamie Foxx should have seen an Oscar nod.  Robert Downey Jr was great in this role.  He is a shit.  I say that with affection, but he is.  Well, his character is.  And he wants to do this good thing for this one man who needs help.  But he cannot fix him.  He can only be his friend.  And sometimes, just sometimes, that is exactly what is needed.  And that is what this story is about.  Nathanial Ayers (Foxx) is a homeless man suffering from schizophrenic tendencies.  Steve Lopez (Downey Jr) of the LA Times happens upon Ayers and decides to write a piece on him.  Once he gets to know him, Lopez finds that he is amazed by this musical genius who is held captive by his own mind.

There are some glimpses into the mind of Ayers – we are shown the voices and the colorful tricks his mind has played.  We are taught to fear him in an instant but to love him for a lifetime. We are also shown the drug riddled streets of LA (skid row) and how organizations like LAMP try to help those most in need in the midst of skid row chaos.

Another thing shown in this movie is how people truly want to help in their own ways – Lopez offers help best he can, his readers offer Ayers a cello, the social worker wants him to heal at a pace that is right for him.  They all are rooting for him, I was rooting for him.

Such a mystery the mind is.

If you get a chance, check out Steve Lopez’s blog.  He truly is a good writer.

I liked it.  You should rent it.  Did you see the movie?  Did you like or hate it?  Let me know in the comments below!

IMDB SynopsisA Los Angeles journalist befriends a homeless Juilliard-trained musician, while looking for a new article for the paper.



Additional Movie Info:

It received a Rotten Tomatoes review of 56% Middle?.  It received a Rotten Tomato audience rating of 56% liking it.  Average Rating: 3.4/5 with a number of User Ratings: 263,265.

Movie Reviews:


It had an estimated budget of $60M.  It has a 117 minute run time. Release date: 24 April 2009.

Additional IMDB Trivia:

  • Jamie Foxx had his teeth ground down for the role of Ayers. He says, “My teeth are just so big and white – a homeless person would never have them.”
  • Most of the homeless people shown in the film are actually homeless.
  • Jamie Foxx (who was already a classically trained pianist) learned to play the cello for the film.
  • In the scene that Nathaniel Ayers and Steve Lopez attend a rehearsal concert, all the seats are covered with canvas. This was not cinematic imagery; this is actually done in some concert halls during rehearsals to reflect a more accurate sound as if the seats were being occupied.
  • The film makers shot on “skid row” in Los Angeles, which is known for being home to one of the largest stable populations of transient persons (homeless) in the United States.
  • Graffiti of the repeated phrase “I like myself” can also be seen behind Edward Norton in a promotional photo for Fight Club (1999).
  • The writing of the book and the selling of the film rights have helped pay Ayres’ expenses and helped his sister, a mental health professional, set up a foundation for him.
  • In the tunnel scene, Nathaniel Ayers (Jaimie Foxx) is wearing a mask of a mexican wresting fighter on the back of his head.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: 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

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Follow Thoughts and Ponderances on


Blogs I Follow

Chelle’s Twitter



BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog

(Somewhat) Daily News from the World of Literary Nonfiction

Adventures of Toby

The exciting adventures of Toby the Wonderdog

monica byrne

novelist . playwright . traveler . futurist . feminist

Wish I Were Here

Journeys Through Place and Time

Commonplace Book Blog

Creative Nonfiction, Writing, and the Pleasures of Reading


A daily selection of the best content published on WordPress, collected for you by humans who love to read.

Scribblings from the Bluegrass

The other me: writing, cooking, sometimes snarky...

The Family Kalamazoo

A genealogical site devoted to the history of the DeKorn and Zuidweg families of Kalamazoo and the Mulder family of Caledonia

HistorianRuby: An Historian's Miscellany

Early modern historian. Loves gender, women's, social & royal histories. Ventures elswhere when interest is piqued. Blog may cover above themes or something a little more random. Find me on Twitter @ruthrblair

My Genealogy Life

Family stories are my buried treasure. -- Patricia Greber, treesrch1800 at

Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter

The Daily Online Genealogy Newsletter

Taken the Series

The Adventures Of Chelle

Pieces of History

A blog of the U.S. National Archives

Streaming thru America

Finding and reporting what's special across America

Cabell County World War I Memorial Boulevard

Honoring the men from Cabell County, WV, who gave the ultimate sacrifice in the Great War

Moore Genealogy

Fun With Genealogy

Needull in a haystack

Selected. Sorted. Shared.

charles french words reading and writing

An exploration of writing and reading

Anastasia Writes

politics, engineering, parenting, relevant things over coffee.

Little Fears

Tales of humour, whimsy and courgettes

Everything's Mary

Finding happiness and trying new things on a budget.


Frank book reviews

The Elliptical Saloon

Weblog for

Stories by Jake Fuentes on Medium

The Adventures Of Chelle

Stories by Yonatan Zunger on Medium

The Adventures Of Chelle

Books – Nerdist

The Adventures Of Chelle

Appalachian Magazine

The Adventures Of Chelle

Beyond the Edge

National Geographic Adventure Blog

The Plate

| Serving Daily Discussions on Food | National Geographic


A science salon

A Change of Tune

The Adventures Of Chelle

Barnes & Noble Reads

The Adventures Of Chelle


The Adventures Of Chelle

A Little Blog of Books

Book reviews and other literary-related musings

Books blog | The Guardian

The Adventures Of Chelle

Love and Lemons

The Adventures Of Chelle

Outdoor Photographer

The Adventures Of Chelle

Speed 51

The Adventures Of Chelle

Beyond the Campsite

Clean Camp; New Journeys

Tinycamper's Blog

diy mini camper van, Casita & Aliner trailer mods, camping, outdoors, all things nature


The Adventures Of Chelle

Lazy Girl Running

The Adventures Of Chelle


The Adventures Of Chelle

Nomadic Matt's Travel Site

The Adventures Of Chelle

%d bloggers like this: