Nathaniel has only one thing going for him.. a friend!
I’ve always known Jamie Foxx and Robert Downey Jr. are two great actors respectively but the mix of two is like combining two different formulas that compliment each other and create an atomic chemistry only described as something that no one else will ever manage to replicate. They can try but won’t come out as good as these two.
This is Jamie Foxx’s best performance since Ray, and I’d vouch for a second nomination on the horizon. Robert Downey Jr. proves that he’s versatile, that he’s more than just Tony Stark and he still got pieces of greatness from when he played Chaplin years ago.
We can’t really compare the two characters with Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man because unlike that movie, in this one, Downey’s character, Lopez, doesn’t try to take advantage of Jamie’s character’s, Nathaniel’s musical talent. In fact, Lopez thinks that by fixing Nathaniel then maybe he could fix his broken marriage, he thinks that by fixing Nathaniel, he could fix L.A., he thinks that by fixing Nathaniel, all his writing and columns and accomplishment could mean something. But the problem is Nathaniel doesn’t want to be fixed.
Sometimes, the only way to heal somebody is just be a good friend in need. Sometimes we gotta accept the fact that some things can’t be fixed and that being there for someone speaks louder than our aimless effort to turn them into something they’re not.
Nathaniel’s love of music is his only connection to what’s left that’s good in his life, in the midst of chaos and confusion. A friend makes that connection even stronger.
That’s what I love about this movie, the story.
Joe Wright’s directing is superb, he understands the plot and how the actors should respond to whatever conflict that may surface. The locations chosen or how a scene would play out, his vision of it all is borderline perfect. The portrayal of the skid row and how the camera moves from one homeless guy to another and take us on this view of the forgotten little kingdom is quite humbling. Those of us who’ve seen the real LA would not find this to be an exaggeration. Director of Photography Seamus McGarvey should definitely be nominated again for the Cinematography, which is absolutely brilliant