The story of a charismatic young Irish guitarist and a sheltered young cellist who have a chance encounter one magical night above New York's Washington Square, but are soon torn apart, leaving in their wake an infant, August Rush, orphaned by circumstance. Now performing on the streets of New York and cared for by a mysterious stranger, August uses his remarkable musical talent to seek the parents from whom he was separated at birth. Written by
Evan's hurried and disorganized writing of sheet music closely parallels the working style of Gioachino Rossini, best known for "William Tell" and "The Thieving Magpie", who is known to have written pieces mere hours before they were to be performed. See more »
When Evan/August is in the church, he starts writing down his composition, using the proper symbols for each type of note, even complex ones that only experienced musicians would know, but there is no explanation of how or where he would have learned these notes. See more »
Louis? Louie where are ya? Louis, where are ya baby bro'? Listen, we didn't follow you all the way from San Francisco to play for free man. We need this one. I need this one, alright?
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I really wanted to like it... and, as an artist, was angry and offended
OK, so I was ready for this movie to be schmaltzy. I wanted it to be schmaltzy. And schmaltzy it was... but it lacked any of the character development or dramatic arc to make an audience care enough to embrace the schmaltz and let it move them. I was actually angered by the quality of this film.
The basic premise, as some have commented, has potential. I'm an actor and the friend I saw it with is a musician. We both love music and I'll be right there cheering anything that heralds the transformative power of art. Unless said piece of art was itself crap. This was.
I don't think the director, writers, or editor knew what exactly they wanted this film to be. Is it three stories (of prodigy, mother, and father) which we watch simultaneously and see them drawn together? Is it the story of this child's genius? Is it a story of the power of music? It is attempting to be all of these, without ever succeeding. The primary problem is the script, which perhaps (to give screenwriters credit) was edited severely. Nothing is ever shown, it's told to you. We don't see the magical night Lila and Louis spend together, we merely here her say "It was the best night of my life." We see no backstory on Evan/August's life at this orphanage--we're just made to believe that his educational and social development was put on hold for 11 years. Really, he's NEVER seen a music staff before? Strange that an orphanage that lacking could afford to dress him so well. What finally made him decide to run away? Nothing had changed for him, nothing had changed with his parents to "draw" him to them. He did it, you know, just cause. I don't want to give anything away, in case for some insane reason you want to see it, so I'll only go into the story problems in the first 15 minutes.
The actors were trying their hearts out--except Robin Williams, whom I normally love but found false and unsatisfying--and in some cases were able to overcome the material and give fairly good performances(Terence Howard, Kerri Russell). Freddie Highmore is cute, but is really called upon to do little more than look glowingly happy while playing music and sad while thinking about his parents. The kid's pretty talented, how about we give him a freaking CHARACTER to play rather than an amalgam of heart-warming looks.
The attempt is noble, I suppose, but unfortunately my recommendation is to stay far, far away.
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