Director: Joe Wright
Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Jamie Foxx, Catherine Keener, Lisa Gay Hamilton, Nelsan Ellis, Stephen Root

Jamie Foxx really must have thought he had something special with The Soloist. After winning an Academy Award for 2004’s Ray, the actor-singer wallowed in a string of B-level action flicks before settling into director Joe Wright’s adaptation of journalist Steve Lopez’s non-fiction book about his run-ins with a mentally challenged homeless man who was once a cello prodigy studying at Juilliard. With Robert Downey Jr. cast as Lopez, the actor’s melanin-deficient skin color puts The Soloist into definite white savior territory.

Foxx, finally given a character as complex and tragic as Ray Charles, surely banked on a second fondling of Oscar. Unfortunately, out-of-his-element director Joe Wright (a costume drama expert prior to The Soloist) was the one who got a bit too touchy-feely with the material. Cramming the film with unnecessary musical montages and lathering on the obvious emotions like chunky butter, his directorial choices squander Foxx’s solid acting; in the case of Wright and Foxx, The Soloist is actually a “white director fail,” not just a “white savior movie.”