The Soloist is a film is based on a true story of Nathaniel Ayers, a musician who has schizophrenia and is homeless. Jamie Foxx portrays Nathaniel Ayers, who is considered a cello prodigy, and Robert Downey Jr. portrays Steve Lopez, a Los Angeles Times columnist who discovers Ayers and writes about him in the newspaper. Production of the film began in January 2008 and will be filmed mostly in Los Angeles. The film was scheduled to be released on November 21, 2008, but has been delayed to March 13, 2009, and then to April 24, 2009.
Please visit the official movie site The Soloist
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I had the opportunity to view “The Soloist” on opening day. It was quite realistic for the particular segment of the population covered. The homeless people who have schizophrenia represent about 40% of the homeless but does not represent all the people who suffer with schizophrenia. Having said that, the very cruel situation that people with schizophrenia may find themselves in is fairly accurately portrayed in the movie. Even more unfortunately, the reality that jails and prisons “serve” as a cruel psychiatric “institution” for people who require and deserve 100% better care and treatment.
I would like to see some films depicting the “other side of the coin”, the positive stories of hope and encouragement. The true stories of the Joanne Verbanics, the Fred Freses, the Moe Armstrongs and the other bright, sensitive, altruistic successful people who demonstrate the struggles and the successful coping with schizophrenia. It takes more than “will power”, it takes people helping people, education, appropriate treatment and support. Thank you to the heroes who work daily to succeed.
Please see Pete Earley’s comments on “The Soloist” http://blogs.usatoday.com/oped/2009/05/the-soloist-enlightens.html