If you, like Opera Chic, found yourself very moved by Steve Lopez's columns in the Los Angeles Times about Nathaniel Ayers back in 2005 (click and scroll down), the Juilliard musician whose career and life had been destroyed by mental illness and had been reduced to homelessness in L.A.'s skid row, and haven't seen ~The Soloist~, the based-on-a-true-story Hollywoodization of the friendship between the two men, good for you.
You've escaped the sappy script and the pointless direction that cranks up the schmaltz Lopez had tried hard to avoid, for the most part, in writing, and instead turns poor Jamie Foxx's mental illness into a series of weird, LSD-like blown-out hallucinations that make Easy Rider's oldie psychedelic moments seem well made. And maybe Foxx won't even win an Oscar for this, because that Australian dude in Shine was much cuddlier in his cinematic madness.
It's a testament to its badness that not even Beethoven himself can save the film but, at least, and despite the mandatory schmaltzy voiceover in the final scene (with a hint that leaves open the possibility that maybe Robert Downey Jr will win back the supercool Catherine Keener, a wonderful actress and seriously cool woman Opera Chic would likely go gay with if OC were twenty years older and, well, gay, and if Keener were gay too, which makes it all very complicated, but still), despite the voiceover we were saying, Beethoven in all his might -- the might of his Ninth Symphony's Adagio -- almost makes the finale work.
Trying to salvage at least the ending, even Esa-Pekka Salonen appears -- magically due to a quite complicated dolly shot -- he's our favorite Finn after Sibelius (but Esa's hotter) -- is on the podium, looking quite glum (maybe he had read the script).
Anyway, on top of the post and below, two screencaps with Esa-Pekka as Hollywood actor.
Here's Esa-Pekk with his wife and one of his daughters at the film's premiere.
~*Click the link below for TONS more images of Esa-Pekk on the red carpet. You won't be disappointed! Bonus images of Los Angeles Philharmonic cellist, Ben Hong, the dude who taught the dude (Jamie Foxx) how to play the cello *~
Cellist Ben Hong:
From Ben Hong's website: