Soloist, The

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +4

Content: -2

Main actors: Jamie Foxx, Robert Downey, Jr., Catherine Keener, Lisa Gay Hamilton. Director: Joe Wright.

FILM SYNOPSIS: The LA Times headline, “Violinist Has the World on Two Strings” along with a column by Steve Lopez (Robert Downey, Jr.) tweaks the interest and imagination of readers. The response prompts Lopez to learn more about Nathaniel Ayers (Jamie Foxx), a talented, homeless musician who idolizes Beethoven. Intrigued by the musician’s passion and talent, Lopez spends more and more time with Nathaniel earning his trust and friendship. Follow-up columns become the talk of the town, and an elderly lady insists on replacing the musician’s two-string violin with her beloved cello. One of the most memorable moments is when Lopez exclaims to his boss and ex-wife (Catherine Keener): “I have never loved anything as much as Nathaniel loves music!” This successful journalist realizes the void in his life is just as crippling as his homeless friend’s mental illness. Stellar performances by Foxx and Downey, a wonderful musical score, and a beautiful true story of love and friendship make The Soloist a sure Oscar contender.

PREVIEW REVIEW: This movie realistically presents the plight of the mentally ill living on the streets and the problems it creates for every city. Some of the scenes set outside the Los Angeles homeless shelter include fighting, drug use, prostitutes soliciting along with the sharing of food, laughs and prayers. The social workers provide counseling, hot meals, and bedding to those who come inside. Nathaniel becomes violent when he feels threatened by those who want to change his circumstances, and Steve learns the hard way that he can’t change Nathaniel but he can offer friendship. Some offensive language and gratuitous heavy social drinking give The Soloist a negative content rating. ” But much more important is the film’s recognition of the value of all individuals and reflects God’s love for all his children. An evangelical Christian is portrayed as overbearing, which, unfortunately, is typical Hollywood.

The next time you see a homeless person pushing a grocery cart filled with plastic bags, buckets, bedding, etc., don’t cross the street; just smile and say “hello.”

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Few times (hell, sob)

Obscene Language: Several times (5 s-words, 1 f-word, slang for urination)

Profanity: Several times (G-d, C, JC)

Violence: Few times (brawls out of shelter, mentally ill man strikes those trying to help him)

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: Few times (drug use outside of homeless shelter, social drinking, drunkenness)

Other: Negative portrayal of evangelical Christian

Running Time: 105 minutes
Intended Audience: Teenagers and Adults

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