Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Soloist

I saw The Soloist a few weeks ago at the $1 theater (which is really the $2/$4 theater) with a friend. Overall, I really enjoyed it. Even though I don't really care for Robert Downey, Jr., he did a good job. And I enjoy seeing Jamie Foxx in serious roles--he did a great job.

Being a musician--especially a string player--I went in knowing that I'd be unhappy with certain things. For example they had coaches for Keri Russell and other actors who portrayed musicians in August Rush, yet the majority of the musical performances were just terrible. I want to hug Ben Hong and Jamie Foxx because it takes a combination of good teacher and good student to achieve the wonderful musical performances that Foxx gave. He was convincing in not only the articulation-to-bow relationship but also the note-to-finger relationship. I was not expecting the latter! Being a nerd with frustratingly good relative pitch (some say it's perfect pitch but it isn't) I noticed that there were only a couple of places where we heard an open string but he had a finger down.

Now for some symphony things. I found it cool that the Juilliard Orchestra was seated like the UT orchestra, with the viola and cello sections switched. What I found very odd was that the Los Angeles Philharmonic had the celli seated where the 2nd violins traditionally go (second from stage right). I'm sure there's a reason behind it but... it really threw me off!

*turns off music crit--Oh, one more technical thing. When Steve gave Nathaniel the donated cello, Nathaniel lovingly ran his hand along the hair of the bow and I cringed. I had to restrain myself because I really wanted to scream "Don't touch the hair, Mr. I Went To Juilliard!!!!"

Okay. *turns off music critic* My one non-musical critique deals with the Beethoven sequence during which we see (what I'm guessing is) a representation of how Nathaniel's brain interprets the music. It's very bright and colorful (read: psychedelic) but it did quite a number on my already-hurting head. Pretty soon I think we need to start putting warnings on movie trailers for people who are prone to migraines or photosensitive epilepsy. Anyone else feel this way?

All that aside, it was a good movie with a good message. I immediately put the book on my wishlist so maybe after my birthday I'll be reading it... :-D

Favorite moment:
  • The principal cellist gives Nathaniel a copy of the Bach cello suites to play and says "If it weren't for Johann Sebastian there would be no Ludwig van."
I'd love to hear anyone else's thoughts. Have you seen the movie? Do you have the soundtrack and if so what do you think of it? I look forward to hearing from you!


  1. Aaack! Even my children know enough not to touch the hair of my bow!

  2. ahahaa... As a string player myself, I totally agree! ... oh, and your favorite part... was my favorite part