The Soloist

Synopsis: In 2005, the only thing hurting Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez more than his face from a recent bike accident was his pressing need for story ideas. That is when he discovers Nathaniel Ayers, a mentally ill, homeless street musician who possesses extraordinary talent, even through his half-broken instruments. Inspired by his story, Lopez writes an acclaimed series of articles about Ayers and attempts to do more to help both him and the rest of the underclass of LA have a better life. However, Lopez's good intentions run headlong in the hard realities of the strength of Ayers' personal demons and the larger social injustices facing the homeless. Regardless, Lopez and Ayers must find a way to conquer their deepest anxieties and frustrations to hope for a brighter future for both of them.
Director(s): Joe Wright
Production: Dreamworks/Paramount
  1 win & 3 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
117 min

"Points West" by Steve Lopez.

A construction foreman in Griffith Park

heard the crash.


He saw a cyclist cartwheel off his bike

and slam face-first into the unforgiving

asphalt of Riverside Drive.

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.

As we begin our descent

into Los Angeles,

we ask that you please be sure

that your seatbelts are fastened...

A 911 call brought out the troops

from Fire Station 76.

- What happened?

- You had an accident.

- Do you know what happened?

- No sh*t, I had an accident. What?

I don't remember any of this,

nor do I recall the cause of the spill.

- Our batteries are off.

- I've been in here six hours now, and...

Listen to me. Wait a minute.

We're ready to go...


OR 2.

County-USC was

the closest emergency room,

and I quickly realized

that if you find yourself there

with nothing more than

a bump on the head,

you are one lucky Angeleno.



I'm not entirely comfortable with this.

Thank you.

You have no new messages.

You have no new messages.



Doctors told me to expect

up to four weeks of disorientation.

Christ. All right.

I'm not asking for sympathy.

I just want you to know, I just...

I'm not asking for sympathy.

I just want you to understand

what's going on

if I start writing about

what a bang-up job

Governor Schwarzenegger's doing.

S-C-H-W-A-R-Z... Scratch that.

Pass. Lacks context.

Right. So the question is...

Hey, Tommy.

Theoretically could I,

seeing as how the Governor has retired

his position at the muscle magazine,

could I interview him?

Right. And will my non-Teutonic lineage

be an issue?

See, no, that's... That's...

It gets to be funny. It's just an article.

Do I need to have been on steroids

for a long time to even apply?


Gail, I like

the "attention must be paid" reference.

I might move it down a paragraph,


Thanks. I'm getting you a new desk.

Good morning, gentlemen.

- Thanks.

- Hey, guys. Check it out.

I got a study here that says

the number of Americans under 35

who read a newspaper

is now down to 40%.

- Forty?

- Forty.

And the group we're losing mostly

are college-educated women.

- Pull my finger.

- Jesus Christ.

Hey, honey.

"Welcome back, Steve."

That would have been nice.

Thank you. You know, when Lopez

and I started out together...

You had to walk 20 miles to school

in the snow with no shoes?

...people cared about

what went on in the world.

- Am I right, Steve? I mean, Christ.

- Back when people cared.

We're at war, and the only thing

that sells papers

is a Lindsay Lohan cooch shot.

Jesus, did someone

actually run that in print?

- I thought that was just on the Web.

- All right, all right.

- All I am saying is...

- I didn't see that.

...that if you run an excellent,

if I do say so myself,

front-page piece about how corporate

America is profiting from this war,

and the only reader response you get

is on two hands...

- Meanwhile...

- That was a good piece, by the way.

- Fine. Thanks. You read it?

- I read that.

- Did you really?

- I didn't read it, but I loved it, Curt.

Meanwhile, Lopez here

scrapes his forehead,

and gets, what,

I'm guessing about 75 e-mails

from readers worried about his safety?

- I chased this piece.

- Then I'm sorry. I'm sorry.

There is something

very wrong in this world.

Newsflash, something wrong

with the world.


Your face hurts my feelings, Steve.

That's harassment.

- Mary?

- An environmental group studying...

- Please.

...chemical contaminants

- in people's bodies.

- I literally... No.

- Give some blood and write about it.

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Susannah Grant

Susannah Grant (born January 4, 1963) is an American screenwriter and director. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "The Soloist" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 3 Aug. 2021. <>.

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