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Former Britpop rocker Lachlan MacAldonich (Robert Carlyle, ABC TV series Once Upon A Time, The Full Monty, Trainspotting) has settled into a comfortably numb existence working on an organic farm just outside Los Angeles. By day he travels to the city's farmers' markets to sell produce to people like Beau (Alexia Rasmussen, Our Idiot Brother, Listen to Your Heart, Tanner Hall), a lovely struggling actress. By night he drinks himself into a stupor until he retires to his shabby apartment where he records a podcast about great musicians. After being pulled over one night for drunk driving, he is threatened with deportation and is forced to confront his past and current demons.
There isn't much I could really add to the synopsis above which pretty much covers all you need to know before watching the film but I like give it a try. "California Solo" is a realistic story about a man who has pretty much forgotten his past other than his career as a pop star. His real past consists of a run in with the law that his manager at the time got him off on and a child that he has not seen in many years. After he gets pulled over and arrested for drunk driving his past run in comes back to haunt him as he faces the chance of being deported from the U.S.. Plus to make matters worse he has to contact his ex-wife after his lawyer tells him if she agrees to writing a statement that says his deportation would cause great stress to her and their daughter he could avoid being deported altogether. With all that is happening Lachlan begins to confront his demons and deal with each situation in a responsible, adult way. Even if it means he must leave the country.
You can tell that Lachlan lives each day wanting more out of life but the fact is it's a life he has made for himself. "California Solo" is a realistic, believable story that replies on it's cast more than anything. After-all it is a character-driven film and the cast delivers big time. Robert Carlyle is magnificent as Lachlan, one minute he has you feeling sorry for him and the situation he is in and the next minute he has you feeling no remorse for him, all you want him to do is man-up and take responsibility for once in his life. This is easily one of Carlyle's best performances ever. He draws you into Lachlan's life as if he has lived it himself, I would go as far as calling this is Oscar-worthy performance. The supporting cast were all terrific as well including Alexia Rasmussen who plays Beau, a struggling actress who befriends Lachlan.
I am not going to sit here and pretend that this is a film for everyone because it is not. If you like your movies lively and loud then I don't think this is a film for you but if you like a film with story that is believable and touches it's audience than I highly recommend checking this out. Hats off to Writer/Director, Marshall Lewy for creating such a realistic and touching story about one man's search for redemption. The film might be slow moving but it's a powerful character study that is sure to keep you engaged the entire time.
Available on DVD, the film comes with Special Features that include:
Behind the Scenes
Original Theatrical Trailer
You can order the DVD HERE.
Released by Strand Releasing
**** Out Of *****