A sort of Crazy Heart
with Britpop substituting for country music, this achingly earnest drama from writer/director Marshall Lewy (Blue State
) may not offer the soul-stirring music or Oscar-caliber performances of that critically lauded hit, though it does give talented lead Robert Carlyle the chance to get in the head of a tormented and complex character whose obsession with tragedy stems from a particularly dark chapter from his past. If only the role came off as a bit more sympathetic or vulnerable, the drama in California Solo
would have really struck home. In attempting to save his dramatic payload for a major reveal at the opening of the th...