Friday, May 1, 2009


Based on a true story

Robert Downey Jr.: Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez
Catherine Keener: Mary Weston, the newspaper’s Editior
Jamie Foxx: Nathaniel Ayers Junior, a homeless street musician
Tom Hollander: Graham Claydon, the first chair of the LA Philharmonic
LisaGay Hamilton: Nathaniel’s sister Jennifer Ayers-Moore

Although the film does not turn over any new leaf, it doesn’t have to. Stories about friendships have many variations, this one between two radically different people. Rather than spend a lot of time filling in the character of both, the director has wisely decided to concentrate on Ayers. Good call.

Nicely shot and well-acted, it feels completely real. I can only imagine how much effort it took for Foxx to memorize his lines: the torrent of words is amazing. Trying to catch everything being said is impossible. But there is no need to do so.

It’s almost two hours long and doesn’t have to be since there are more than a few scenes that are either repetitive or simply too long. The film editor should have exercised his prerogative to do something about that.

for thematic elements, some drug use, and language.

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