I hope to be wrong, and find when I finally see The Soloist that it is a deep, heartfelt movie without a trace of statue-grabbing cynicism under the surface. From here, I don’t see that happening, but you never know. Flick looks like grade-A Oscar bait and nothing more or less.

Now I’ll probably have to wait until 2009 to find out. Paramount has pushed back both The Soloist, which features Robert Downey, Jr. as a journalist who discovers homeless music prodigy Jamie Foxx, and Defiance, the Daniel Craig film about three Jewish brothers leading Jews from West Belarus to a protective forest hideout.

Moving Defiance isn’t much of a surprise; the Edward Zwick film hasn’t ignited much interest and seemed destined to get lost in the fall/winter shuffle. Instead of opening on December 12, it will open on New Year’s Eve, and go wide on January 16. The move for The Soloist is more interesting. The planned November 21 release has been bounced back to March 13; THR is uncertain whether or not the picture will get an Oscar-qualifying run before the end of this year.