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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Foxx teaches reporter and world a valuable lesson in ‘The Soloist’

    Beethoven was one of the world’s greatest composers and he was deaf; Nathaniel Anthony Ayers was a child prodigy on the cello, but suffered from schizophrenia. The movie “”The Soloist”” is about his life and how one reporter befriended him.

    Steve Lopez (Robert Downey Jr.) is a columnist for the Los Angeles Times. He is in search of a story and comes across Ayers (Jamie Foxx) playing Beethoven on a violin with only two strings. Lopez makes a few calls and finally finds the truth to Ayers’ past. He finds out that Ayers was a child prodigy and studied for two years at Julliard. Through Lopez’s articles, Ayers slowly starts earning recognition and even gets a cello donated to him from an old lady who has just been diagnosed with arthritis. Lopez feels compelled to help Ayers and try to improve his standard of living, but Ayers doesn’t seem to welcome change. Lopez doesn’t give up though, and tries to get Ayers to play in front of a huge crowd.

    The true story is great, but the movie itself was just OK. For an hour and fifty minute movie, it felt more like three hours. There were a few parts that seemed unnecessary, like some overhead shots of L.A. I know that they’re trying to incorporate the music with the scenery, but I think there’s a little more to L.A. than just the traffic and ghettos.

    On a more positive note, there were some very good lines from this movie and one of the most notable coming from Lopez’s ex-wife: “”You couldn’t stop that earthquake, you can’t change L.A., and you can’t cure Nathaniel.”” I know it sounds depressing, but what it is really saying is that, there are some things in this world you cannot change no matter how much you want to.

    Jamie Foxx did an excellent job speaking so such that for a second, I actually thought he was schizophrenic. Also, one of my personal favorite shots from the movie was when Nathaniel is sitting amongst the crowd in the Los Angeles Philharmonic Theatre and the camera begins to pan out. That shot seems to show Nathaniel now blends in with the rest of world as opposed to being seen as different from everyone else. Despite a few flaws and a rather lengthy run time, the movie was very well done.

    Rating: *** 1/2

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