California Solo

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California Solo
California Solo Poster.jpg
Directed by Marshall Lewy
Produced by Mynette Louie
Written by Marshall Lewy
Starring Robert Carlyle
Alexia Rasmussen
Kathleen Wilhoite
A Martinez
Michael Des Barres
Danny Masterson
Savannah Lathem
Music by T. Griffin
Cinematography James Laxton
Edited by Alex Jablonski
Distributed by Strand Releasing
Release dates
  • January 25, 2012 (2012-01-25) (Sundance)
  • November 30, 2012 (2012-11-30) (United States)
Running time 94 minutes
Country United States
Language English

California Solo is an American independent feature film written and directed by Marshall Lewy and starring Robert Carlyle. It made its world premiere at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, and its international premiere at the 2012 Edinburgh Film Festival. The film was acquired by Strand Releasing for the U.S., and was given a limited theatrical release on November 30, 2012.


Robert Carlyle plays Lachlan MacAldonich, a former Britpop rocker-turned-agricultural worker, who gets caught driving drunk and faces deportation after living in Los Angeles for 12 years. His efforts to stay in the U.S. force him to confront his past and current demons. The film addresses immigration issues, alcoholism, and personal redemption.


Lewy wrote the part of Lachlan MacAldonich with Robert Carlyle in mind. Carlyle has remarked, "It was an easy sell to get me to do it"[1] and he drew inspiration for the character from his friends, the Gallagher brothers of Oasis.[2]

The film shot for 21 days in June 2011 in Leona Valley, Lancaster, Moorpark, and many neighborhoods of Los Angeles, including Silver Lake, Los Feliz, Atwater Village, Sun Valley, Downtown, Highland Park, Hollywood, and Culver City.[3] Its title song was written specifically for the film by Adam Franklin.[4]

Reception & Awards[edit]

"California Solo" is a New York Times Critics Pick.[5] Critics have praised Robert Carlyle's performance, calling it "open and utterly human",[6] "effortlessly engaging",[7] "soulful and layered",[8] and "stunning...perhaps his best since Trainspotting’s Begbie".[9] The Huffington Post called the film a "touching drama"[10] and the Hollywood Reporter called it a "fragile drama with emotional heft."[8]

The film won the Best Narrative Feature and Best Editing awards at the 2012 Woodstock Film Festival. Robert Carlyle won the Outstanding Acting Award at the 2012 Tallgrass Film Festival. Additionally, producer Mynette Louie won the 2013 Independent Spirit Awards' Piaget Producers Award. In May 2013, Savannah Lathem won the Young Artist Award for Best Supporting Young Actress in a Feature Film.[11]


  1. ^ Michelle Kung (January 25, 2012). "'One Upon A Time' Star Robert Carlyle Finds a Happy Ending at Sundance". Wall Street Journal. 
  2. ^ Anthony Breznican (January 28, 2012). "Sundance 2012: Robert Carlyle sings the blues in rock drama 'California Solo'". Entertainment Weekly. 
  3. ^ Bryce J. Renninger (October 7, 2011). "Will You See This Movie? | Robert Carlyle Fights Deportation in "California Solo"". Indiewire. 
  4. ^ Dennis Carlson (August 3, 2011). "A Supervisor Wire Exclusive: A Conversation with Joe Rudge". SupervisorWire. 
  5. ^ Jeannette Catsoulis (November 29, 2012). "Midlife Crisis of the Britpunk Kind". New York Times. 
  6. ^ Robbie Collin (June 28, 2012). "California Solo, Edinburgh International Film Festival 2012, review". Telegraph. 
  7. ^ Adam Whyte (June 27, 2012). "Edinburgh Film Festival Diary #5". What Culture!. 
  8. ^ a b David Rooney (January 25, 2012). "California Solo: Sundance Film Review". Hollywood Reporter. 
  9. ^ Josh Winning (January 31, 2012). "20 Best Movies of Sundance 2012". Total Film. 
  10. ^ Marshall Fine (January 18, 2012). "Getting Ready for Sundance". Huffington Post. 
  11. ^ "34th Annual Young Artist Awards". Retrieved 2013-03-31. 

External links[edit]