Couch Critic: The Soloist

December 16, 2010 Film Reviews

3 out of 5 stars

The easiest way to describe my feelings about this film is to say that i loved the story but didn’t love the screenplay. That is to say, i loved the idea of the narrative more than the actual telling of the narrative. The moral of the story is powerful without being sappy and i really enjoyed watching Robert Downey Jr.’s character’s journey. The lesson that people aren’t means to an end that can be fixed is simple yet necessary. The subtext of the plight of the homeless is another well-developed piece of this film. Many of the scenes that take place on the streets are unsettling and distressing, adding layers to the film. Jamie Foxx’s character’s schizophrenic moments are likewise disturbing and give the film an invaluable dark side that ironically rescues it from its overtly sentimental passes. My primary complaint is that prior to the scenes that show Ayers’ breakdown, the film is slow, formulaic, and lacking in tonal clarity. once we begin to see the warmer side of Lopez and can understand a bit more about Ayers’ impairment, The Soloist really plays to its forte: that life is way better when you treat people like question marks rather than periods.