Worthwhile socially conscious drama pulls itself up a full two notches with the spirited performances of Jamie Foxx, as a homeless, mentally ill classical cellist, and Robert Downey as the newspaper columnist who first profiles him, then befriends him and offers help. UK move-over director Joe Wright (Atonement, Pride & Prejudice) keeps the pathos to a minimum and uses the chaotic side of Los Angeles to great effect Nathaniel Anthony Ayers world is a wildly dangerous place. The screenplay, from LA Times reporter Steve Lopez book adapted by Susannah Grant (Erin Brockovich), develops the feel-good plot in true newspaper style: a few heart tugs followed by a punch in the face. With Catherine Keener and Tom Hollander (109 min.).
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