Who directed ‘Atonement’?
Tip 1: it earned him an Oscar nomination
Tip 2: he also directed ‘Pride & Prejudice’ a few years ago.
He’s not a “brand name” director, like Steven Spielberg or Quentin Tarantino. But he should be. And probably will be.
His name is Joe Wright and I just saw his latest movie ‘The Soloist’. It’s a moving story about how a disillusioned LA journalist, Steve Lopez (Robert Downey Jr.), tries to help a schizophrenic, homeless musician, Nathaniel Ayers (Jamie Foxx), who possesses extraordinary talent, even through his half-broken instruments. As their challenging friendship develops, each must confront their deepest frustrations and fears, resulting in a transformational journey for both.
This is the third collaboration between Wright and composer, Dario Marianelli, who won an Oscar for ‘Atonement’. A recent Dublin screening, arranged by the Irish Film & Television Academy, was the first time the Marianelli saw the finished film. He said parts of it made the hairs stand up on the back of his neck.
The film is full of visual metaphors and smart editing. The sound design is amazing, integrating natural sound effects with Marianelli’s adaptation of Beethoven’s compositions. Featuring a fantastic performance from Jamie Foxx, this is an uplifting “must-see” movie and a reminder to directors like myself how to serve the needs of the audience.