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The Soloist

The Soloist

Date: Jun 10 2009

Themes: Health, Hobbies

Grammar: Adjectives


1. Learn Vocabulary - Learn some new vocabulary before you start the lesson.

2. Read and Prepare - Read the introduction and prepare to hear the audio.

Movies based on true stories are fun to watch because they’re like real life, only better. They have all the drama and excitement of something that really happened, but the actors are usually way better-looking than the real people they play. Plus, unlike life, most movies end happily and are over in two hours or less.

The latest movie to be based on true events is The Soloist. In the film, Jamie Foxx plays a brilliant musician who struggles with mental illness and ends up living on the streets. Robert Downey Jr. plays a journalist who tries to help him achieve his dreams. Listen to what Mason and Marni think about this movie.


1. Listen and Read - Listen to the audio and read the dialog at the same time.

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2. Study - Read the dialog again to see how the vocab words are used.





Mason:  I’ve been hearing a lot of buzz about The Soloist again lately.

Marni:  Oh that new film that’s based on the true stories of the…

Mason:  Yeah the violin player guy, homeless dude.

Marni:  Cellist, I believe.

Mason:  Cellist. Cell-o.

Marni:  You know what, actually, I think multiple instruments, so we’re both correct.

Mason:  You know, the thing is they’ve actually been advertising that movie for close to a year. And then they delayed it because I think it wasn’t gonna come out in time for Oscar season.

Marni:  Ah. Perhaps.

Mason:  And you look at this trailer and it’s like Jamie Foxx playing some troubled person, and Robert Downey Jr. being serious and distraught. So they’re really going for the Oscar buzz there.

Marni:  Perhaps. I think it is a compelling story, though, because it is based on this real individual’s plight, that he actually is mentally ill but he has this incredible gift, and it’s really hard for him to pursue that dream of playing music because he’s troubled, clearly.

Mason:  I mean you know, there’s pretty much a large correlation between those kind of musical prodigies and being really troubled individuals a lot. Like there’s just some sort of thing, like if your brain works in that extreme musical way there’s kind of…other stuff.

Marni:  Yeah it’s some, like, pay off. You have to be tortured mentally, but you…you’re a savant.


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Movie studios release certain movies hoping that they’ll be nominated for Oscars. But in order to be considered for a nomination, the movie has to be released at a particular time. Mason thinks that the release of The Soloist was delayed so that it would have a chance to be nominated for an Oscar.

Marni thinks that The Soloist sounds like an interesting movie. Mason agrees that the storyline is compelling and wonders if there is a connection between being a musical prodigy and having mental health problems.

Do you like to watch movies that are based on true stories? Do you agree with Mason that musical prodigies are often a little troubled?



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I like this kind of movies it boost our positive energy and telling us yes you can do it even if you are facing unbearable challenges

Unfortunately i didn’t watch this movie but i watched a movie called beautiful mind it comes from a real story of an american mathemtics savant who suffers from mental troubles as well

12:53 PM Feb 21 2016 |



Syrian Arab Republic

I've watched this film,it was brilliant.And Jamie foxx was acting his role perfectly.About musical prodigy,i reckon they are genius and creative,so it's rare to find a troubled or a half-witted musician.. Anyhow i'm really into this kind of movies,ya'll ought to watch it.

12:50 PM Jan 11 2011 |

rebel lee

rebel lee


Lots of movies, which are based on true stories, are very moving. So, I love that kind of movie. They are meaningful.

Do musician have mental problems? Probably they do. They are always sad. Because they think about lots of things. They worry about the whole universe, everinoment, future and countless other things. So, they are supposed to have mental problems. And actually those problems help they do much better at what they are doing.

09:44 AM Nov 21 2010 |



I haven't watched this film yet.but I searched for it on the net. It is about a musician who is schizophreniac and trys to find the way of living.

10:00 AM Jun 26 2010 |




LaughingI think I have some acquisitions!!!

07:48 AM Oct 26 2009 |


Saudi Arabia

verv good

10:25 PM Sep 28 2009 |



I want to admit I really like movies that are based on true stories. I have seen some of them, but didn't watch The Soloist. Thanks this lesson I have known about this movie and would love to watch it. 

01:06 PM Sep 25 2009 |

Juancito Cuhara


True histories always are worth to see. Some say that wasn't a good movie like others, but they don't really realize what happens was real, like in the exorcist of Emily Rose, some say it waasn't scaring, but man… it was real.

08:10 PM Sep 13 2009 |




True stories have something the actors and the moviemakers will never have to offer, they´re something we can´t describe, even if we try to make something similar, it wouldn´t never be like the real moments. I think movies try to tell us a true story but it seems like it´s fake and impossible to comprehend.


02:45 PM Jun 15 2009 |



True stories are the best kind of movie, because it can has a relation with my life and make me feel better and motivated to reach my goals. So, i will watch this movie!!

08:31 PM Jun 14 2009 |



LaughingThank you! wonderful explanation of grammar.

01:46 PM Jun 14 2009 |



Jamie is an outstanding multi- talented artist i have seen him in sitcoms to his musical career but he shocked me with his outstanding portrayal of Ray Charles in the movie Ray the likeness was frightening so another true story i know he his going to be good in it also like that his new single blame it on the alcohol…... 

08:08 AM Jun 14 2009 |



That okay I'm understand my fred…....How;s country?

so What the plan for this year ?

I think enjoin us.

so thanks 

see u later.


03:02 AM Jun 13 2009 |



I can' comment for the movie because I havent watched to "the soloist" yet 

12:32 AM Jun 13 2009 |


Russian Federation

if a movie is based on a true story you feel much more sympathy with the characters, but i don't really like them if they are tragic as i take them close to heart.

06:44 PM Jun 12 2009 |



i think most movies other than sci-fi are derived from true stories. no matter they are based on a true story or are merely made up, they all reflect human being's dream, desire, love, hatrade ect. for something. so i like a movie not because it is based on a true story or not, but depending on whether there is a happiy end.

12:30 AM Jun 11 2009 |




İ always like the movies based on true stories because to consider that somebody had lived that story makes me more exciting. I feel better movie. 

Accoding to me quality of a movie mostly based on the budget, cast and director. Oher things are not so important even scenario. A good director can make a great film using with bad sceneaio.


11:41 PM Jun 10 2009 |




Actually, this kind of movie is my favorite, you know, it really happened, sometimes is going on, and its like when you read a book based on true storie too, its the same emotion, i try to understand and i think like if i were this character what i would do..the same..or different..its exciting, though. About the prodigies might be true, some famous ones had some kind of trouble. 

10:35 PM Jun 10 2009 |



I haven't seen this movie. Genneraly I like movies based on true stories, provided that it is produced in very good quality, with my favourite actors :)

08:50 PM Jun 10 2009 |

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