California Solo 1.0 stars

California Solo movie poster

A fine performance — and a good character — in search of a story. Silken-maned Robert Carlyle plays an aging former rocker, haunted by the death of his brother (his old band's frontman) and living in self-imposed exile on a farm in California. It's a tolerable, static, hidden sort of life, the kind that just begs for some small misstep to start the machinery that will bring everything to light and force a reckoning. The trouble is, the machinery takes over; our man is moved rather than moving, and the reckoning feels more like a shift in circumstance than any kind of victory. Still, despite a couple of flat attempts at pathos, the feeling is right: the crushing weight of the mundane on a man who flirted with greatness in the past and who must now make peace with the present. If you don't burn out, you fade away. 2012.

Matthew Lickona

This movie is not currently in theaters.


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