Based on the true story and book by writer Steven Lopez, the Soloist is about his encounter and eventual friendship with a mentally ill homeless man with a great musical talent.  Is this Oscar bait worth seeing?  It’s okay.  Robert Downey Jr., who plays Lopez, does precious little flying around in armor or shooting people, but he acts the Hell out of this movie.  Jamie Fox, as Nathaniel, isn’t half bad as the Celloist that hears voices, lives on the street and worships Beethoven.

Spoiler warning:  The story is uplifting as Steve rediscovers the joy of writing even as his newspaper is dying and Nathaniel manages to make a friend, even if he has a hard time with reality.  The movie has a real sense of grittiness and makes you feel like shit about the homeless situation.  Kinda one those, what I like to call, “feel bad movies” even though it’s sorta meant to be inspirational.  The great thing about it is that (Big Spoiler) life goes on and there are no clear cut answers.  Nathaniel doesn’t find a magic cure and Steve is no miracle worker.

I was only sorta in the mood for a movie like this.  Not really my cup of tea.  I’m more psyched for a little bit o’ the ol’ ultra violence coming out this summer.  Still, The Soloist moves well.  So if you want to impress your date, show her you’re cultured and not be totally bored, you could do a whole lot worse than the Soloist.  I give it 7 keggers out of 10.