“Exquisite attention, wry humor, and wide-awake intelligence informs every frame of this almost perfect film.”
—A.O. Scott, The New York Times
“Stunning … A true drama, a tug-of-war between hope and resignation.”
—David Edelstein, New York
On the lonely roads of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, two men forge an improbable friendship that will change both of their lives forever.
Solo is a Senegalese cab driver working to provide a better life for his young family. William is a tough, Southern good old boy with a lifetime of regrets. One man’s American dream is just beginning, while the other’s is quickly winding down. But despite their differences, both men soon realize they need each other more than either is willing to admit. Through this unlikely but unforgettable friendship, GOODBYE SOLO deftly explores the passing of a generation, as well as the rapidly changing face of America.
Winner of the Venice Film Festival’s prestigious FIPRESCI International Critics Prize and named one of the best movies of 2009 by The New York Times, GOODBYE SOLO is the latest film from internationally-acclaimed filmmaker Ramin Bahrani (Chop Shop, Man Push Cart).
Solo, a Senegalese taxi driver in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, is hired by William, a gruff, 70-year-old, white Southerner, to drive him to a nearby mountaintop in two weeks. Solo soon comes to understand William's plan, and makes one of his own — to befriend the stubborn old man and try to change his mind.
The men visit bars, play pool, and flirt with women. Solo starts bringing William along on his taxi rides, introducing William to his nine-year-old stepdaughter — with whom William forms an immediate bond — and his very pregnant Mexican American wife Quiera, who discourages Solo’s dream of becoming a flight attendant. Though William tries to keep him at arm’s length, Solo becomes convinced that he has won over the old man.
When the fateful day finally arrives, will Solo drive William to the mountaintop? “Ultimately, Solo must find the courage and strength to love his new friend selflessly in order to help him do something seemingly horrible, or leave him to face it alone,” Bahrani says. “It’s a task not easy for any man to face.”
Filmmaker Ramin Bahrani provided an update in April 2010 on what the cast of GOODBYE SOLO have been doing since filming ended:
Souléymane Sy Savané (Solo) went on to a leading role in an off-Broadway play by Tony Award-winning writer/director Scott Elliott; his next appearance is in a leading role opposite Uma Thurman in a feature film. Red West (William) was cast in an important supporting role opposite Kevin Spacey in a new feature film and has several other offers he is considering.
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