The latest movie to be given to us by NBC Universal is a movie which is directed by Joe Wright (who brought us Atonement and Pride and Prejudice) and stars Robert Downey Jr. , Jamie Foxx and Catherine Keener. It tells the true story of Nathaniel Ayers, a homeless man who has a wonderful talent hidden amongst a complicated life on the streets where he has ended up after years of misdirection.

Let me start by saying I thought this movie was excellent. We all know that Downey Jr. is a wonderful actor but after watching Iron Man and Sherlock Holmes, it was so nice to see him in a role that had a simple but compelling and gripping story rather than all out explosions and rocket-suits.

Downey Jr. plays Steve Lopez, a journalist for the Los Angeles Times. His boss (Keener) assigns him the task of finding a new story for his column in the paper. While looking for inspiration in Pershing Square where a statue of Beethoven resides. Next to the statue is a homeless man playing his violin which now only has two strings left because of wear and tear of living on the streets. Downey Jr. realises that there could be a story in this homeless man who turns out to be Nathaniel Ayers. Ayers tells Lopez that he attended Juilliard School, a place for musical prodigies like Ayers. After some journalistic research, Lopez finds out that Ayers did indeed attend the college and that he was a very gifted talent. This is where the movie expands into the life of Nathaniel and where we discover just how talented he really is.

I really enjoyed this movie. It only had a short run at the cinema and I can understand why and it’s a thought provoking, inspiring story about music which isn’t going to attract a major audience but with the likes of Foxx and Downey Jr. involved, it’s always worth a watch.

The direction is lovely with lots of shots of Los Angeles from angles that you wouldn’t normally see. We never go to Rodeo Drive or Sunset Boulevard, we see the real LA where people struggle to stay alive and find a place to sleep at night.

The Soloist is a wonderful piece of cinema with excellent performances all round. I highly recommend you watch it, and let us know what you think in the comments below.

It’s available to buy now on both iTunes here or you can buy the DVD and or Blu Ray here.