Goodbye Solo (2008, Ramin Bahrani)

A lot like the trailer, but a ton better and with a sadder ending. Katy liked it too!

Much of the same crew as Chop Shop but all new actors – and as before, most of them have never acted in a film before (except for Red West, an old Hollywood vet). Set in Winston-Salem NC, near where Bahrani is from, Solo (Souleymane) is a cab driver who aspires to being a flight attendant but keeps failing the exam. He lives with pregnant girlfriend Quiera and her daughter Alex, is kicked out halfway through the movie, but probably not for good. Cheery, happy dude makes it his mission to solve cranky Red West’s problems, like a Wendy-and-Lucy-realism version of Happy-Go-Lucky. Red warms to him until he feels that Solo has interfered too much with his life and plans (threatening to reconnect Red with his estranged grandson, whom Red secretly visits working at a movie theater) then cuts Solo off. But Solo won’t allow himself to be cut off, sticks close to Red in the last couple days before his suicidal trip, and drives him up there with no further questions. Not the ending I was expecting