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The Soloist
Directed by Joe Wright
Produced by Gary Foster
Russ Krasnoff
Written by Screenplay:
Susannah Grant
Book and articles:
Steve Lopez
Starring Jamie Foxx
Robert Downey Jr.
Catherine Keener
Music by Dario Marianelli
Cinematography Seamus McGarvey
Editing by Paul Tothill
Studio StudioCanal
Participant Media
Working Title Films
Distributed by DreamWorks (US)
Universal Studios (international)
Release date(s) 24 April 2009 (US)
11 September 2009 (UK)
Running time 117 min.
Country United States
Language English
Budget $60 million
Gross revenue $31,720,158 (worldwide)

The Soloist is a 2009 drama film directed by Joe Wright, and starring Jamie Foxx and Robert Downey Jr. The screenplay by Susannah Grant is based on the book, The Soloist by Steve Lopez. The film is based on a true story of Nathaniel Ayers, a musician who develops schizophrenia and becomes homeless.

Foxx portrays Ayers, who is considered a cello prodigy, and Downey portrays Lopez, a Los Angeles Times columnist who discovers Ayers and writes about him in the newspaper. The film was released in theatres on 24 April 2009[1] and on DVD and Blu-Ray August 5.



The Soloist is based on the true story of Nathaniel Ayers (Jamie Foxx), a musical prodigy who develops schizophrenia during his second year at Juilliard School. Ayers becomes homeless and plays a two-stringed violin in the streets of downtown Los Angeles. One day Steve Lopez (Robert Downey Jr.), an LA Times Columnist, meets Nathanial and decides to write a newspaper column for the Los Angeles Times about Nathaniel Ayers and his homelessness. An old woman takes sympathy and sends Steve a cello for Nathaniel to play. In attempting to help Ayers, Lopez is forced to grapple personally with the complex issues and frustrations surrounding the thousands of mentally ill who are homeless on the streets of L.A.



The Soloist, directed by Joe Wright, was written by Susannah Grant, based on a series of columns[2] written by Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez, who chronicled the plight of Nathaniel Ayers, Jr., a musician with schizophrenia, and eventually was chronicled in Lopez' book, The Soloist.[3] Grant drew elements of the story from a book written by Lopez, which was published in the spring of 2008.[4] The film was budgeted at $60 million, twice the budget amount of Wright's previous film, Atonement.[5] Production began in January 2008 and was filmed mostly in Los Angeles,[3] with some scenes shot in Cleveland.



Critical reaction

Overall, the film has received somewhat mixed reviews. Based on 120 reviews collected by Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an overall rating 55% (considered "Rotten") of reviews being positive with an average score of 6/10.[6] At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 top reviews from mainstream critics, the film received an average score of 61 out of 100, which indicates "generally favorable reviews", based on 32 reviews.[7] Reviewers generally praise the performances by Robert Downey Jr. and Jamie Foxx, but comment on the film's lack of narrative focus in attempting to tell a convincing or engaging story due to the somewhat "uneven" direction by director Wright.[8] Many felt that the project was a bit of a "mismatch" for Joe Wright, and felt it was one of his weakest films to date, following the success of his adaptations of Pride and Prejudice (2005) and Atonement (2007).

Box office

On its opening weekend, the film opened #4 behind Fighting, 17 Again, and Obsessed, grossing $9,715,000 in 2,024 theaters with a $4,800 average per theater.[9] The film went on to only recover about half of its total budget bringing in $31,720,158. This was blamed on the film's initial release date being postponed, as well as the film's release coming one week before the 2009 summer movie season.



External links


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