Jamie Foxx and Robert Downey Jr star in this biography of Nathaniel Ayers (played by Foxx). Ayers was a musical prodigy who played the cello, but after two years attending the famous Juilliard School of Music, his bouts of schizophrenia soon saw him living on the streets. Enter journalist Steve Lopez, disenchanted with his dead-end job and in the middle of a break-up, he is wandering through L.A.'s infamous Skid Row when he comes across Ayers playing a battered two-stringed violin. Intrigued, Lopez takes an interest in him and the columns, and ultimately book, that he writes serve to highlight a fascinating story, and the lack of care and understanding society has for mental illness.
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