The Soloist

D2D Movie Nights: Film Review

Lara Dorfman, BA


If you are thinking of attending one of our four movie screenings in the county but aren’t sure which movie you want to see most, look no further! I will break each down for you to ensure you pick the best movie for your interests and preferred genre. There are four nights and three movies: The Soloist, The Lady in the Van, and The Pursuit of Happyness, which will be playing twice because it is an obvious fan favorite.

If you are interested in seeing the Smith father-son duo (and I’m not sure why you wouldn’t be) then come by our movie screenings on November 13 at East High School or November 15 at Unionville High School, or both, if ugly crying is something you like to do more than once a week. The simultaneously heartwarming and heart wrenching film chronicles the story of a family struggling to meet their basic needs. The family is thrown deeper into trouble when father (Will Smith) pursues a huge career opportunity and risks accepting a 6 month unpaid internship with a stock broker in hopes that he will be the one offered a full time position at the end of the term. The Pursuit of Happyness is an important film for everyone to see in order to better understand that homelessness does not discriminate. Will Smith won a Best Actor Oscar for his performance in The Pursuit of Happyness, so it is not a movie that you want to miss!

The Soloist provides a mental health perspective on homelessness. Jamie Foxx plays Nathaniel, an extremely talented musician who suffers from Schizophrenia – the main reason he had to drop out of Julliard and ended up living with all of his belongings on the streets of Los Angeles.  Columnist Steve Lopez, played by Robert Downey, Jr., takes a keen interest to Nathaniel when he desperately needs an idea for a story. The film offers a rude awakening of the darkness of both homelessness and mental illness. This film is inspired by a true story, in case you needed another reason to come by The Gordon Literacy Center on November 14 to watch it with us for free!

Lastly, Maggie Smith provides a breath of fresh air in The Lady in the Van. Maggie plays a quirky, outspoken older woman who voluntarily lives out of her van. Another true story, the film follows her and her neighbor, Alan Bennett, after he suggests she park the van in his driveway for a few months after many complaints from others in the neighborhood. These few weeks turn to months and eventually 15 years in Alan’s driveway. The film depicts how much you can learn about someone after 15 years and captures the woman’s fear and struggle beneath her hard and witty exterior, a struggle that explains why she is so adamant on living in her van. The important thing to remember here is that usually there is more to someone’s situation than what meets the eye. Get to know a person before you assert judgement. You can catch this film at the Colonial Theater on November 15!


Don’t forget to register for free tickets at: