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Starring: Jamie Foxx, Tina Fey, Questlove, Phylicia Rashad, Daveed Diggs, Ahmir-Khalib Thompson
OUR RATING: ★★★★☆
Disney-Pixar animated fantasy comedy directed and co-written by Pete Docter. Soul (2020) follows Joe Gardner (Jamie Foxx), a middle school music teacher, who has dreamed of performing jazz music onstage, and finally gets a chance after impressing other jazz musicians during an opening act at the Half Note Club. However, an accident causes Gardner’s soul to be separated from his body and transported to the You Seminar, a center in which souls develop and gain passions before being transported to a newborn child. Gardner must work with souls in training, such as 22 (Tina Fey), a soul with a dim view on life after being trapped for years at the You Seminar, in order to return to Earth before it’s too late.
Our Favorite Quotes:'You can't crush a soul here. That's what life on Earth is for.' - 22 (Soul) Click To Tweet 'The zone is enjoyable. But when that joy becomes an obsession, one becomes disconnected from life.' - Moonwind (Soul) Click To Tweet
Joe: [to his students] That guy was lost in the music. He was in it, and he took the rest of us with him. And I wanted to learn how to talk like that. That’s when I knew I was born to play. Connie knows what I mean. Right, Connie?
Connie: I’m twelve.
Libba: Joey, we didn’t struggle giving you an education so you could be a middle-aged man washing your underwear in my shop.
Lulu: Walking around with a hole in his pants.
Curley: [as Joe turns up to audition for Dorothea] Joe is Ray Gardner’s son.
Dorothea: So we’re down to middle school band teachers now. Get on up here, Teach, we ain’t got all day.
Joe: [after playing the piano beautifully] Sorry. I zoned out a little back there.
Dorothea: Joe Gardner, where have you been?
Joe: I’ve been teaching, middle school band. But on the weekends, I…
Dorothea: You got a suit? Get a suit, Teach. A good suit. Back here tonight. First show’s at nine. Soundcheck is at seven. We’ll see how you do.
Gerel: [after Joe falls into a manhole and his soul gets separated from his body] Oh. What’s your name, honey?
Joe: I’m Joe. Joe Gardner. Look, I’m not supposed to be here.
Gerel: Ah. Must have been sudden for you. You see, Joe, I’m a hundred and six years-old. Been waiting a long time for this.
Joe: For what?
Gerel: The Great Beyond.
Joe: The Great Beyond? As in, as in beyond life?
Joe: No, no, no. Listen, I have a gig tonight. I can’t die now.
Soul: Well, I really don’t think you have a lot to say about this.
Joe: Yes. Yes, I do. I’m not dying the very day I got my shot. I’m due. Heck, I’m overdue.
Uh-uh. Uh-uh. I’m out of here.
Gerel: I don’t think you’re supposed to go that way.
Joe: This can’t happen. I’m not dying today. Not when my life just started.
Joe: Wait. I’m not finished. I got to get back. I don’t want to die! I’m not done. I’m not done. Run! Why aren’t you running?
Soul: I don’t know.
Joe: What’s wrong with you people?
Soul: I don’t know.
Joe: Who are you?
Counselor Jerry A: I am the coming together of all quantized fields of the universe. Appearing in a form your feeble human brain can comprehend.
Counselor Jerry A: You can call me Jerry.
Joe: Hey, is this heaven?
Counselor Jerry A: No.
Joe: Is it H-E-“double hockey sticks”?
New Soul: Hell?
New Souls: Hell? Hell? Hell?
Counselor Jerry A: Shh. Quiet coyote. It’s easy to get turned around.
Counselor Jerry A: This isn’t the Great Beyond. It’s the Great Before.
Joe: The Great Before?
Counselor Jerry A: Oh. We call it the You Seminar now. Rebranding.
Joe: Does this mean I’m dead?
Counselor Jerry A: Not yet. Your body’s in a holding pattern. It’s complicated.
Terry: Mm, that’s weird.
Counselor Soul: What is it?
Terry: The count’s off.
Counselor Soul: Excuse me?
Terry: There’s a soul missing. The count’s off.
Counselor Soul: Huh.
Joe: [as Jerry delivers the new souls to their destination] Oh, wait a minute. This is where personalities come from?
Counselor Jerry A: Of course. Do you think people are just born with them?
Joe: So how do they get to Earth, then?
Counselor Jerry A: Well, they use the Earth portal. Once they get a complete personality, of course.
Terry: The count’s off.
Counselor Jerry A: I seriously doubt that. The count hasn’t been off in centuries.
Terry: One hundred and fifty-one thousand souls go into the Great Beyond every day. That’s one hundred and five point two souls per minute, Jerry. One point seven five souls per second. And I count every single one of them.
Terry: I’m always counting. I’m counting right now. You blinked five times since I started talking. Six.
Counselor Jerry A: Right. Since accounting is your job, why don’t you figure out the problem?
Terry: Maybe I will.
Counselor Jerry A: Wonderful.
Counselor Jerry C: [educational video] I’m Jerry, a counselor here at the You Seminar. Now you don’t remember it, but you’ve been here before. But don’t worry, forgetting the trauma of childbirth is one of the great gifts of the universe. Here at the You Seminar, all new souls are given unique and individual personalities.
New Soul #1: I’m an agreeable skeptic, who’s cautious, yet flamboyant.
New Soul #2: I’m an irritable wallflower, who’s dangerously curious.
New Soul #3: I’m a manipulative megalomaniac, who’s intensely opportunistic.
Counselor Jerry C: Oh-ho, this one might be a handful. But that’s Earth’s problem.
Counselor Jerry B: 22 has been at the You Seminar for quite some time, and has had such notable mentors as Gandhi, Abraham Lincoln, and Mother Teresa.
22: [laughs] I made her cry.
Counselor Jerry B: Ignore that.
Counselor Jerry B: [to Joe, who’s been matched as 22’s mentor] It is an honor having you prepare 22 for Earth.
22: I’m going to make you wish you never died.
Counselor Jerry B: Most people wish that, 22.
22: [to Joe, who’s pretending to be Dr. Börgensson] Okay, look, I’m sure your life was amazing, and you did amazing things, but here’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to stand here in silence for a little bit, then we go back out, you say you tried, I go back to not living my non-life, and you go to the Great Beyond.
22: I’ve had thousands of mentors who failed and now hate me. Mother Teresa.
Mother Teresa: [we see 22 with Mother Teresa] I have compassion for every soul. Except you. I don’t like you.
Copernicus: [we see 22 with Copernicus] The world doesn’t revolve around you, 22!
22: Muhammad Ali.
Muhammad Ali: [we see 22 with Muhammad Ali] You are the greatest pain in the butt!
22: Marie Antoinette.
Marie Antoinette: [we see 22 with Marie Antoinette] Nobody can help you! Nobody!
22: You know, I’m comfortable up here. I have my routine. I float in mist. I do my Sudoku puzzles. And then like once a week, they make me come to one of these You Seminars. It’s not great, but I know what to expect.
Joe: I’m not Bjorn Borgenstein, or whatever his name is. I’m not even a mentor.
22: Not a mentor? Ah. Reverse psychology. You really are a good shrink, Doctor. Carl Jung already tried that.
Carl Jung: [we see 22 with Carl Jung] Stop talking! My unconscious mind hates you!
Joe: My life was meaningless. No, no, no. No, I will not accept this.
Joe: Well, what if I help you turn it into an Earth Pass? Will you give it to me then?
22: Wait, I’ve never thought of that. I’d get to skip life. So, yes! But we got to get this thing to change first, and I’ve never been able to get it to change.
Joe: Come on. I know all about sparks. Because mine is piano.
[shows 22 himself playing the piano]
Joe: Really? Nothing at all?
22: Eh. Oh, no, not jazz. Just music. I don’t like music sounds. It feels like a little too much.
Joe: By the way, why do you sound like a middle-aged white lady?
22: I don’t. This is all an illusion.
22: This whole place is a hypothetical.
22: I just use this voice because it annoys people.
Joe: It’s very effective.
22: [as a bunch of new souls roll and crash into a wall] Don’t worry, they’re fine. You can’t crush a soul here. That’s what life on Earth is for.
Joe: Very witty.
Joe: [in the Hall of Everything] Croissants, cakes. Baking could be your spark.
22: Yeah! But I don’t get it.
Joe: Just smell it.
22: Can’t, and neither can you.
Joe: [he sniffs the slice of pizza in his hand] What? You’re right. I can’t smell.
Joe: [he pops the slice of pizza in his mouth and it pops out of him] We can’t taste either?
22: All that stuff is in your body.
Joe: No smell! No taste!
22: [she slaps him across the face] Or touch. See?
Joe: [22 continues to slap his face] Okay. I get it!
Joe: How about a librarian? They’re cool.
22: Yes, amazing. Who wouldn’t like working at a thankless job you’re always in danger of losing due to budget cuts? Though I do like the idea of randomly shushing people.
Joe: Look, obviously this…
22:Shh! Oh, yeah. That’s good.
22: What can I say, Joe? Earth is boring.
22: [to Counselor Jerry B] Even though I can’t feel it, please don’t touch me.
22: [as Counselor Jerry B is about to send Joe to the Great Beyond] Wait. We forgot to try breakdancer. Yeah! I think that’s going to be my thing. Popping and locking. Windmills. Settling my disputes with dance. Can we have one more minute to go back and try breakdancer? Please, Jerry? You look really good today, Jerry.
Counselor Jerry B: Oh, okay. I’ve never seen 22 this enthused. Good for you, Dr Börgensson.
22: [as Counselor Jerry disappears] to Joe] Run.
Joe: Wait, are you actually helping me?
22: Joe, I have been here for who knows how long, and I’ve never seen anything that’s made me want to live. And then, you come along. Your life is sad and pathetic. And you’re working so hard to get back to it. Why? I mean, this I got to see.
Joe: What is this place?
22: You know how when you humans are really into something, and it feels like you’re in another place? Feels like you’re in the zone, right?
22: Well, this is the zone. It’s the space between the physical and spiritual.
'Lost souls are obsessed by something that disconnects them from life.' - Moonwind (Soul) Click To Tweet