If you have seen The Soloist you know that it is in fact a message movie. If you read this blog you know that I loathe message movies to the very core of my being. However, if all message movies were more like The Soloist I would not hate message movies like I do.
The Soloist does what a message movie should do. Instead of beating their message into the audience every few minutes and making the actual story and characters of the film secondary, Joe Wright & Susannah Grant found the way to make their message resonate to the viewer – they focused on the characters and where their journey was taking them. By participating in their journey we not only connect with Steve & Nathaniel, but see the problem of the homeless population the way that Steve sees it and this is what makes The Soloist an effective message movie.
In my initial review of The Soloist I stated that I was slightly upset that even though the film is as beautiful as it is that the ending was a slight downer. Since that review I have seen the film two more times and I no longer feel that the ending of The Soloist is a downer. In fact, I think quite the opposite. The ending is not uplifting but it is inspiring; Steve & Nathaniel both end the film in a new and more enlightened place in their lives and their journey with one another will continue. It is a natural ending, and one befitting of the real-life plight of Nathaniel Ayers.
I am glad I have been able to add this masterpiece to my collection. I can only hope that when awards season comes around that Joe Wright, Robert Downey Jr, and everyone else on this film are not swept aside.