AUGUST RUSH will not go down in history as a profound film: many will even go so far as to dismiss it as kitsch, maudlin, and a simpleton take off on 'Oliver Twist', and other pejoratives. For this viewer the little film is tender and frequently requires suspension of belief, but in the end the idea of the story does indeed bring a tear to the eye.
Based on a story by Paul Castro and Nick Castle and transformed for the screen by Castle and James V. Hart, the premise is that of a fairytale, but an unusual fairytale built around the impact of music. On one magic night in New York City classical cellist Lyla Novacek (Keri Russell) and popular Irish guitarist/singer Louis Connelly (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) meet on a rooftop, languishing in their own disappointments with life and finding solace in each other's arms, and that night Lyla becomes pregnant, never to see Louis again, and struggling to keep her baby despite her father's demands to abort. Lyla delivers her baby boy, but the child is immediately taken away (Lyla is told the child was stillborn). 'Evan Taylor' AKA August Rush (Freddie Highmore) is placed in an orphanage, longing for parents he believes he can 'hear' in the music of the spheres. Compelled to find his parents he escapes the orphanage after eleven years and is taken in by Faginesque Maxwell 'Wizard' Wallace (Robin Williams) who teaches his street urchins the fine art of pick pocketing and playing music on the streets as buskers. Renamed August Rush, Evan has uncommon musical talents and rapidly becomes a big money maker for Wizard while at the same time being discovered as a potential pupil for Juilliard by Reverend James (Mykelti Williamson) and his girl singer Hope (Jamia Simone Nash) with assistance from kindly social worker Richard Jefferies (Terrence Howard). August Rush composes a rhapsody that is to be played in Central Park, a chance to place his music before the world and attract his parents, both of whom have returned to music careers after eleven years absence and learn of the existence of August Rush, their 'unknown son'. And yes, the ending is a happily ever after one...
Kirsten Sheridan directs with a sure hand and a keen eye toward make believe. The cast is strong, especially Jonathan Rhys Meyers, and the musical score, a very mixed bag, provides a suitable background for the story. This is one of those movies that asks us to go along with a lot of improbable events, but the pleasure of the experience is worth the journey. Grady Harp, March 08
Pros: enchanting, uplifting, and engaging tale Cons: not realistic enough for some viewers The Bottom Line: An instant favorite for me, and one I'll be sharing with others for years to come. Plot Details: This opinion reveals major details about the movie's plot. You know what music is? God's little reminder that there's something else besides us in this universe, a harmonic connection between all living beings, every where, … more
You know, I'm all for a sappy happy bubbly ending. Really. I'm a happy kinda girl and I like things that end on a positive note. Positive... but at least somewhat plausible. I'm going to totally beyond all reason spoil the ending here- so don't read if you haven't seen. A boy who can "hear" his parents in the "music" of nature? Ok fine, I'll believe it. A boy who has incredible musical talent without any training whatsoever? Alright. A couple who chat … more
"Listen. Can you hear it? The music. I can hear it everywhere. In the wind... in the air... in the light. It's all around us." Short Attention Span Summary (SASS): 1. Boy musician (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) meets girl musician (Keri Russell) and they make beautiful music up on the roof before going their separate ways 2. Little orphan boy (Freddie Highmore) hears music in the wind and feels a connection to the parents he never knew 3. Desperately seeking … more
Pros: ... Cons: ... The Bottom Line: “But God bless the child thats got his own Thats got his own” ~Chris Botti and Paula Cole This is a strange mixture of Romeo & Juliet along with Oliver as we bring together Lyla, uber-rich and talented cellist, and Louis, equally talented street-smart, bass player. Lyla plays in the ultra chic venue and Louis plays in smoke filled bars. … more
'August Rush' is, as best, hard to describe. It's not a musical, but it's a movie about music, where music forms the emotional backbone of the story. It's not a fantasy, but the story it tells has elements that can only be described as fantastic. It's not a 'family film' is the traditional sense, though it is a movie the the whole family can watch, enjoy, and appreciate on many levels. 'August Rush' tells the story of a young boy, conceived on a magical night between a pair … more
Pros: Concept in general, tone, pacing, acting Cons: While some of the music is good, it is mostly incomplete The Bottom Line: Prodigy stories are common, the emotion and motive behind this one is different and worth a look so long as you know it will be sappy. Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie''s plot. It is rare for this reviewer to watch a film I know will probably drown me in sap, but mood … more
Whether or not the implausible plot of director Kirsten Sheridan's 2007 "August Rush" makes much sense or not, the film moves with its own frenetic momentum; the urgent momentum of the music heard inside the head of its main character Evan Taylor a.k.a. August Rush (played by the serious Freddie Highmore of "Finding Neverland"), musical genius extraordinaire of the caliber of a latter-day Amadeus Mozart. Ordinary sounds like that of the grass blowing in the breeze and the … more
This is more than a feel good movie. It is a beautiful story about a boy searching for his parents. He goes about his quest listening to the music all around him. Keri Russell and Jonathan Rhys Meyers are great. Russell's performance is truly excellent. She is cellist who becomes pregnant after one night with a bad singer. Throughout the movie, she searches for her son. Freddie Highmore is a fantastic actor. His face never lost that innocence and hopefulness that made the movie fantastic. The story … more
Grady Harp is a champion of Representational Art in the roles of curator, lecturer, panelist, writer of art essays, poetry, critical reviews of literature, art and music, and as a gallerist. He has presented … more
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AUGUST RUSH is part romance, part gentle fantasy, but this sweet drama is all heart. When young cellist Lyla (Keri Russell) and rock musician Louis (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) meet at a party in the mid 1990s, it's love at first sight, and they spend the night in each other's arms. But Lyla's father forces them apart, even though she later learns she's pregnant. Later, an accident lands Lyla in the hospital, and though her father tells her that her baby died, the child survives and is given up for adoption. AUGUST RUSH jumps to the present and begins to follow Evan (Freddie Highmore), an 11 year old who has grown up in a boys' home. As Evan embarks on a crusade to find his parents, he imagines he can communicate with them through his gift for music. His journey to New York City brings him into contact with Wizard (Robin Williams), a man eager to capitalize on the child prodigy's talent. Wizard gives Evan the name August Rush as he begins performing all over the city, but the boy's ultimate goal is to find the...