Movie Renter's Guide - August, 2009


"The Soloist" (Blu-ray)

The SoloistSynopsis

Los Angeles Times reporter Steve Lopez (Downey) discovers a homeless man, Anthony Ayers (Foxx) living under a bridge, playing a violin. Anthony plays so well, Steve asks him about his past, and Anthony tells him he was a cello student at Juliard School of Music.

Steve checks on this, and finds it to be true, so he decides to write a story about Anthony. First, he gets a cello, and gives it to Anthony, who is shocked at first. Then he begins to play, and Steve can see that Anthony is a gifted musician who has succumbed to the ravages of schizophrenia.

Steve helps Anthony find shelter where he can live safely, but it is very difficult for Anthony, because of his mental illness.

Finally, he brings Anthony to the attention of the first chair cellist of the local symphony orchestra, who, seeing how well Anthony plays, offers to arrange a recital for Anthony.

Anthony shows up on stage with the cello and his grocery cart with his belongings. He looks into the spotlight, and into the eyes of so many people in the audience, and,  . . . . well, if you know someone who is schizophrenic, you could probably imagine the outcome.



  • Dreamworks
  • 2008, Color, Rated PG-13, 1 Hr 57 min
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • 1080p
  • Codec: Not Specified
  • English 5.1 Dolby TrueHD
  • Starring Robert Downey Jr., Jamie Foxx, Catherine Keener, Meggan Anderson, Halbert Bernal
  • Directed by Joe Wright
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Mild
  • Sex: No
  • Language: Mild


The movie is based on the book by Steve Lopez, and although it is a true story, it moves a little slow at times. But then, trying to help a schizophrenic person is also one step at a time.


The image is not as sharp as it could be, but there is good use of the surrounds.


These include Director's Commentary, Kindness, Courtesy, and Respect, The Making Of, and Addressing Homelessness in Los Angeles (there are 90,000 of them).