When i first saw the preview for this movie I remember turning to my friend at the theatre and saying "Oscar in the bag." After seeing this film though, I will have to tone down my previous remark to "Oscar in the bag, maybe." The story of a LA Times reporter (Mr. Lopez) who befriends a mentally ill homeless cellist (Mr. Ayers). On screen we get to see the darkness of the human mind and the workings of what can drive a man to be living on the streets. However to counter this darkness we see the bright love of music and the warm caring of two friends. Based on a true story, this film captures a unique friendship with skill. The film only lacks but one thing, a distinct ending, I am willing to let this slide though, since it is based on friendship, and one thing can be said for certain, a real friendship lasts eternal and has no ending.
Director Joe Wright did a solid job taking two of the top working actors in Hollywood and getting them to sing and dance for us on the screen. Hands down Mr. Downey had the best performance for this film. He shows such subtle tones with his character, even with such sarcastic lines he is able to apply a deeper emotion showing that he really does feel and want to help Mr. Ayers (Mr. Fox). As for the role of Mr. Lopez's (Mr. Downey) ex-wife and boss (Catherin Keener), I found her acting a little pushed and over the top. You could tell she still had feelings for Mr. Lopez straight from the beginning of film, there was no real character development there throughout the story.
As the cinematography, wow. Hats off sir, to you Mr. Seamus McGarvy. The movie is filled with beautiful shots such as the one above, one of my personal favorites, myself being a sucker for wide shots that capture a strong personal emotion between two people. Please pay close attention to the scene with the symphony when this movie is watched, it will make the hair on the back of your neck stand up. The color montage scene is perfect to say the least, after watching what McGarvy captures I was able to see into the brain of Mr. Ayers for a few moments, and it was beautiful.
Now to the part that ties it all together, the soundtrack. Superb. I am listening to it as I type this and enjoying every lick of the string. The soundtrack of this film is the third character, every note a line and every crescendo a cut. If I had to say one bad thing, and I must, yes it's killing me, the soundtrack did a little too good of a job of foreshadowing for me. It came in just moments too early and gave away that something was about to happen. That being said, the work done by Dario Marianelli is outstanding.
So I believe its time for me to come to my crescendo, overall I really enjoyed this film. In most cases I would allow someone to rent a movie of this caliber, but you must see this in a theater to get the full sound. Listening to this in surround theatre audio is like getting a warm hug. So if your looking for a bear hug, and no ones around, just go buy a ticket for The Soloist.