Here is a heartfelt, true story of a homeless musician, a once-bitter journalist and their common ground... or so the tagline suggests.
Nathaniel Anthony Ayers Jr (Foxx) has battled with his demons for a long time. His love of music consumed his early life, up until another, much stronger, force took over - his schizophrenia. Now he lives on the streets, collecting other people's junk and filling the city air with his tunes (in spite of the fact that he is playing a violin with only two strings).
While looking for inspiration for an article, Los Angeles Times journalist Steve Lopez (Downey Jr) stumbles across Ayers, hovering around a statue of Beethoven. He initially judges him, is annoyed by his mumblings and looks for an out. But then a thought strikes him, that Ayers would actually be a very interesting subject for his column, and so he pursues him, trying to make sense of his intense rambling and raving. The column is a hit and the public seem to be inspired by Ayers' story. For that reason, Lopez wants more.
Somewhere along the line the journalist begins to care about the homeless community in the city. He visits Ayers, sets him up with some music lessons and almost becomes his friend. But Ayers is not the totally trusting type and there is only so far that he can be pushed.
'The Soloist' should be touching. It should inspire you or at least make you feel something. Unfortunately, there's no chemistry between Robert Downey Jr and Jamie Foxx. Foxx captures the essence of Ayers' personality well, showing his moods and his tender side, but there's just no spark between the pair. You want to believe in the development of a genuine friendship between them, but Downey's character never softens enough to make this plausible, giving off a selfish, arrogant vibe right up until the credits.
Maybe what is most disappointing here is that you're expecting so much more than the movie ever becomes. Fans of director Joe Wright ('Atonement', 'Pride & Prejudice') will feel let down by this movie, which looked like it had so much more potential than what transpires.
Will you be moved? Maybe by the ushers when they come around to wake up all the people that have fallen asleep.