2009: #7 Goodbye Solo

Directed by: Ramin Bahrani
Written by: Bahareh Azimi and Ramin Bahrani
Starring: Souléymane Sy Savané and Red West
Distributer: Roadside Attractions
Country: USA
Language: English
Rating: R
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Date released: 3/27/2009
Date seen: 10/24/2009
Worldwide Box Office Gross: $827,000
# of Oscar nominations: 0
# of Golden Stake Nominations: 1 (Best Ensemble)
# of Golden Stakes Won: 0

[Ed. Note: original piece was lost, what follows was written retroactively in 2011] During the tail end of the 2000’s we’ve seen a lot of films that could be classified as “neo-neorealism”; these are films that depict the raw realities of lower class life through the use of real locations and non-actors.  One of the most important directors using this style has been Ramin Bahrani, a young filmmaker who initially depicted the poorer sections of New York in the films Man Push Cart and Chop Shop, but for this film he returned to his home town of Winston-Salem North Carolina.  This is a moving story about a sort of friendship born between a Senegalese immigrant and an old suicidal man.  While neo-neorealism is often all about going into gritty and unpleasant places, there is a lot of natural beauty on display in Goodbye Solo, especially during the film’s conclusion at the Blowing Rock.  While this film itself is a worthy movie, I can’t help but take Bahrani’s previous films into consideration when placing this on the list, he’s really made a great trilogy of little movies.

Full Review

#8 Year End Honors #6

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