Robert Downey Jr. & Jamie Foxx in The Soloist – The Inside Scoop From LA Screening
journeyPod had the opportunity last week to screen the upcoming film, The Soloist, starring Robert Downey, Jr and Jamie Foxx. The screening was part of Reel Talk with Stephen Farber. Following the screening of The Soloist, journeyPod listened in on the revealing discussions with director Joe Wright, screenwriter Susannah Grant, and Producer Gary Foster to get some real inside scoop! journeyPod then had an exclusive one on one interview with Stephen Farber.
How did you get started as a movie critic?
I always loved movies. I wrote for my high school paper back in Cleveland, Ohio and I won a trip to Hollywood!
What was the first movie you ever reviewed?
It was in 1966. Inside Daisy Clover
What is your favorite movie?
Lawrence of Arabia
The Soloist is based on a book by Steve Lopez, a reporter for the Los Angeles Times. Did you read his book before watching the film? And do you typically read a book before you see the screen adaptation?
I do not necessarily always read a book before I see the film.
Who is your favorite movie critic?
While I don’t always agree with her, I love reading Pauline Kael. I think Joe Morgenstern [Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic for The Wall Street Journal] is a solid critic as is Kenneth Germain [LA Times]
What grade would you give the movie we saw tonight, The Soloist?
Jamie Foxx did an outstanding job. He really transformed himself into character. Robert Downey, Jr brought lots of energy to the movie, but as the movie goes on, I feel he overdid it. It gets a solid B.
journeyPod covers several film festivals around the world, what’s your favorite film festval?
I attend some. In fact I lead tours at some of the festivals. I lead a tour at the Palm Springs Film Festival in January and will do the same at the upcoming Seattle Film Festival in June. Berlin, Sundance, and San Sebastian [Spain] are probably my favorites. Berlin has a great selection of films from around the world and lots of stars, directors, and press are there everyday. It’s really quite impressive. San Sebastian is just a beautiful setting. It’s well run, and really impressive as well.
Thanks for your time Stephen. I know there are a few more film screenings left in your series. Can you tell our readers what’s upcoming?
Sure. On May 4th we are screening Departures, the Academy Award-winning best foreign film of 2008. Oscar Award winner Yojiro Takita will be the guest speaker. An on May 18 we are screening My Life in Ruins, a comedy from Nia Vardalos, the writer and star of My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Nia will actually be the guest speaker for the evening!
More on Stephen and Reel Talk
Stephen Farber, one of the country’s leading film critics and historians who is continuing his film series Reel Talk with Stephen Farber at the Wadsworth Theatre in Los Angeles. REEL TALK is a series of 10 memorable evenings of exciting new films and conversations going on now until mid-May.
Unlike any other preview series, Reel Talk with Stephen Farber allows the film going public to be the first to sample some of the most exciting movies of 2009. This past Fall, Reel Talk members got an early look at several of the major Academy Award winning or nominated films, including the 2009 Best Picture “Slumdog Millionaire” (recipient of eight Academy Awards), “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” (recipient of three Academy Awards), “The Reader,” for which Kate Winslet won the Oscar for Best Actress, and “Waltz with Bashir” along with films that were the recipients of prestigious year-end critics’ prizes.
The tradition continues this Spring, with the season’s most provocative movies followed by revealing discussions with top actors and filmmakers after the screenings. Previous Reel Talk guests have included Forest Whitaker, David Duchovny, Laura Linney, David Schwimmer, Lisa Kudrow, Andy Garcia, Javier Bardem, Claire Danes, as well as master directors Sydney Pollack, John Singleton, Bill Condon, and Mike Leigh, not to mention legendary producer Richard Zanuck.
Farber, who moderates each program, is one of the originators of this popular preview screening series, and has been doing it for more than 25 years now. Over the past three years, enrollment in Reel Talk with Stephen Farber at the Wadsworth has grown tremendously, because of the loyal following Farber has attracted. He assembles the series himself – working with the studios to supply the prints and with the filmmakers themselves to be the guests. For the film going public, this effort provides a connection to the movie industry and to the film itself, that is just not available, much less with this kind of authority, just about anywhere else.