Goodbye Solo

Movies Reviews Ramin Bahrani
Goodbye Solo
Release Date: March 27 (limited)
Director: Ramin Bahrani
Writers: Bahareh Azimi, Bahrani
Cinematographer: Michael Simmonds
Starring: Souléymane Sy Savané, Red West
Studio/Run Time: Roadside Attractions/Gigantic Pictures/Noruz Films, 91 mins.

A well-done odd-couple pairing
Improbable duos and their misadventures present writers with a fairly predictable set of tensions, usually boiling down to friendly/grumpy, happy/sad, outgoing/taciturn dichotomies. Director Ramin Bahrani follows the formula, but Goodbye Solo—the Iranian-American director’s third film—comes away with quiet complexity, though not necessarily unpredictability. The friendly character is Solo, an ever-glowing Winston-Salem cabdriver played by Senegalese newcomer Souléymane Sy Savané. The grump is William, seventy-something Red West, of Elvis’ Memphis Mafia and countless other supporting roles. West’s rare smiles—usually provoked by Solo’s stepdaughter, Alex (Diana Franco Galindo), are the film’s emotional bright spots. West brings William a remarkable weight, a lifetime behind him.

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