Luke Thorne’s review published on Letterboxd:
Pete Docter and Kemp Powers’s animated comedy adventure in which a musician who has gone astray with his passion for music is changed out of his body and has to locate his way back.
The story concerns Joe (Jamie Foxx), a middle-school band lecturer whose life hasn't quite gone the way he was hoping for. His actual passion is jazz – and he's decent. But when he journeys to another land to assist someone locate their passion, it is not long before he finds out what it means to have soul.
Jamie Foxx gives an excellent voice performance in his role as Joe, the band teacher whose soul gets separated and shows plenty of determination to get it back, while Tina Fey is very decent as 22, a soul stuck in the Great Before who hasn’t got a bright outlook on life.
Elsewhere, Angela Bassett is fine the respected jazz musician Dorothea Williams, while Questlove is Curley, a member of Dorothea’s band and Phylicia Rashad is respectable as Joe’s mother Libba. Listen out for Graham Norton who voices the part of Moonwind, a mystical sign twirler.
The direction from Docter and Powers is excellent because they allow the facial expressions to be seen to a strong effect throughout, while also keeping a mostly pleasant atmosphere happening as well.
The script is written to a terrific standard by the two directors and Mike Jones as they make the movie really easy to follow and create humour too, meaning the movie never take itself too seriously. But even when the movie isn’t funny, you can still understand what is happening, because the narrative is definitely there from beginning to end.
The camera and music stand out best in terms of the technical aspects, because it makes very good use of the locations and also captures the moving and funny occasions well, which deservedly get the edge-of-the-seat status; the music is very enjoyable to listen to.
I believe this movie is a contender for awards season.
Overall, Soul is a terrific animated comedy adventure, due to the very good voice performances in particular from Jamie Foxx and Tina Fey, along with the direction, script, mixed atmosphere and humour. One of the best movies from this year.