Ramin Bahrani’s ‘Goodbye Solo’ Stands Alone So Far in 2009

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HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 5.0/5.0
Rating: 5.0/5.0

CHICAGO – There were a few great films of late 2008 that weren’t widely released until early this year including “Waltz With Bashir” and “Che,” but Ramin Bahrani’s “Goodbye Solo” is the first truly great film of 2009. The director of “Man Push Cart” and “Chop Shop” and the man who Roger Ebert recently dubbed “the new great American director” has delivered a haunting, genuine drama about acceptance that will stay with you long after the credits roll and will likely stand among the best of the year nine months from now.

“Goodbye Solo” opens abruptly, almost mid-conversation, in a crucial life moment between a Senegalese cab driver named Solo (Souleymane Sy Savane) and his elderly passenger named William (Red West). Solo’s client is making a reservation for a long trip on October 20th to Blowing Rock, a legendary spot in the mountains near Winston-Salem where the wind blows so strongly that legend says it can lift a man into the sky.

StarRead Brian Tallerico’s full review of “Goodbye Solo” in our reviews section.

After a few unanswered questions, Solo becomes concerned that William is not going sight-seeing in the mountains. The man with the deep sadness in his eyes doesn’t intend to come back from Blowing Rock. The gentle, sweet, young cab driver who has his own problematic life with an expecting wife named Quiera (Carmen Leyva) and a daughter named Alex (Diana Franco Galindo) becomes a bit obsessed with William.

At first, he merely begs dispatch to give him all of William’s rides, but when the old man’s behavior gets even more disconcerting. including selling his apartment and moving into a motel, Solo goes further. He tries to get closer and closer to William until that fateful day on Blowing Rock.

StarContinuing reading for Brian Tallerico’s full “Goodbye Solo” review.

‘Goodbye Solo’ stars Souleymane Sy Savane, Red West, Carmen Leyva, and Diana Franco Galindo. It was written by Ramin Bahrani & Bahareh Azimi and directed by Bahrani. It opens on March 27th, 2009 at the Landmark Century Theatre in Chicago. It is not rated.

Goodbye Solo
Goodbye Solo
Photo credit: Noruz Films

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