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One good thing about this frigid weather outdoors is that it gives me an excuse to catch up on a long list of little-heard-of movie gems that I have been wanting to see, but I just haven’t had time or access. So this week I am a little late to jump on the critical bandwagon once again- Movie Mom interviewed the director last summer- but I would like to recommend an indie fave from 2009 that moved me more than any movie in a long time, ” Goodbye Solo.” Sure, I read the synopsis of the movie online and felt like maybe this story would seem like “been there, saw that,” but boy, was I wrong. I have to fight to not throw around clichés like “life affirming” or “thought provoking” in describing this movie. I will say instead that it has multi-faceted characters, a strong sense of place and and a deep, rich storyline that make it a movie not to be missed.


Senegalese taxi driver Solo and the bitter, elderly William may not go down in cinema history as one of the best odd couples on screen, but they should. Solo is a man who tries to see the bright side of life, even when he has plenty of his own problems. William is depressed and, it seems, wants to check out of life all together. Solo becomes more than a taxi cab driver, he becomes a lifeline for the other man. Solo stays with William at a hotel, takes him to a bar to meet his friends and introduces him to some of his family, all in hopes of disracting William from his intent to be aken to the top of a North Caorlina mountain never to return. It’s a plan that works at first, but then each man is confronted with his own choices about whether to embrace life or not.
“Goodbye Solo” is on one level a simple story about human connection and isolation. On a different level, it is a story about life in America through an outsider’s perspective – similar to another indie movie, “The Visitor”. Yet with a simple look or a lingering shot, “Goodbye Solo” combines these two ideas and blends them into its own unique portrait of what it means to be fully human, fully alive. In the end, it may not give the audience exactly the catharsis they are looking for , but it certainly gives us plenty to think about and reflect upon.

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