Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Soloist

The Soloist is a 2009 drama film directed by Joe Wright, and starring Jamie Foxx and Robert Downey Jr. The screenplay by Susannah Grant is based on the book, The Soloist by Steve Lopez. The film is based on a true story of Nathaniel Ayers, a musician who develops schizophrenia and becomes homeless.

Foxx portrays Ayers, who is considered a cello prodigy, and Downey portrays Lopez, a Los Angeles Times columnist who discovers Ayers and writes about him in the newspaper. The film was released in theatres on 24 April 2009[1] and on DVD and Blu-Ray August 5.

The Soloist is based on the true story of Nathaniel Ayers (Jamie Foxx), a musical prodigy who develops schizophrenia during his second year at Juilliard School. Ayers becomes homeless and plays a two-stringed violin in the streets of downtown Los Angeles. One day Steve Lopez (Robert Downey Jr.), an LA Times Columnist, meets Nathanial and decides to write a newspaper column for the Los Angeles Times about Nathaniel Ayers and his homelessness. An old woman takes sympathy and sends Steve a cello for Nathaniel to play. In attempting to help Ayers, Lopez is forced to grapple personally with the complex issues and frustrations surrounding the thousands of mentally ill who are homeless on the streets of L.A.

Bad Lieutenant

Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call: New Orleans is a 2009 American crime drama film directed by Werner Herzog and starring Nicolas Cage. The film was released on November 20, 2009.

It draws superficially from Abel Ferrara's 1992 film, Bad Lieutenant, which featured a crooked cop (Harvey Keitel), who is a drug addict and takes sexual favors as bribes. The film's director insists that it is not a sequel or a remake.

Terrence McDonagh (Nicolas Cage), is a New Orleans Police sergeant. While rescuing a prisoner during Hurricane Katrina, he injures his back. After receiving a medal and a promotion to lieutenant for his heroism, he becomes addicted to prescription pain medication and begins using cocaine, heroin, crack, and marijuana. The film follows McDonagh as he investigates the murder of a family of Senagalese immigrants while dealing with his drug addictions and gambling and other personal problems. Although he frequently breaks the law he is eventually promoted again.

The film was first announced in May 2008 with Werner Herzog to direct and Nicolas Cage to star. The script was penned by TV writer William Finkelstein.[9] One major change from the original film was moving the setting from New York City to New Orleans.[10] Herzog insists that the film is not a remake, saying, "It only has a corrupt policeman as the central character and that's about it."[6] At the 2009 Academy Awards, Herzog stated that he has never seen Ferrara's film, saying "I haven't seen it, so I can't compare it. It has nothing to do with it."[11] Herzog did not like the idea of a remake and desired to change the title of the film, but was unsuccessful. Herzog stated, "I battled against the title from the first moment on", but added, "I can live with it, I have no problem with it at all. The title is probably a mistake, but so be it."[12]

Actress Eva Mendes, who starred with Cage in the 2007 comic book-based film Ghost Rider, joined the cast the following June.[8] Filming began on July 7, 2008 in Louisiana[13] and also around South Mississippi, shooting some scenes at the Hollywood Casino in Bay St. Louis.


Agora is a 2009 Spanish historical drama film directed by Alejandro Amenábar, written by Amenábar and Mateo Gil, and starring Academy Award winner Rachel Weisz and Max Minghella. It tells the story of Hypatia, a female philosopher in Roman Egypt, who is portrayed by Weisz. With dramatic license, the biopic includes a romantic angle: her slave falls in love with her. The film was co-financed by Spanish company Sogecable. It was screened Out of Competition at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival in May, was released in Spain on 9 October, and was released country by country throughout late 2009 and early 2010.