“For classical-music fans,” writes Tara Dooley in Monday’s (4/27) Houston Chronicle, “nothing ruins a good story about a violist beating the odds, or love in the woodwind section, quicker than musical fouls. So the moment in The Soloist when Jamie Foxx picks up a cello for the first time is a delicate one for the classical-music buff. Not only does Foxx have to convey joy, loss and redemption, he has to look like he can tell the bridge from the fingerboard. Does he? ‘He was very convincing,’ said Norman Fischer, cello professor at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, a premier Texas music program. … In The Soloist, Foxx is able to pull off a credible cello player with the help of some well-chosen music, careful hand movements and a few strategic cutaways from Foxx’s hands, Fischer said. … If Foxx were part of Fischer’s studio at Rice, there would be quibbles, of course. Got to round those fingers, and a cellist would never run his hands down the hair of a bow. But Foxx manages to at least play the cello in the right ballpark, so to speak. ‘His fingers are always in the right spot,’ Fischer said.”

Posted April 29, 2009