This is a story of a music prodigy. Lyla is a renowned and beautiful cellist and Louis is a guitar player and vocalist at a club. Lyla and Louis fall in love once they meet each other following the music. Since they have different lives, they have to separate without seeing each other again. However, Lyla has had their baby - Evan, a prodigy born to music. Lyla has an accident and bears the baby but Lyla's father gives the baby to an orphanage without telling her, for fear of affecting her career. After that, both Louis and Lyla give up their music careers. Eleven years later, poor little Evan believes that his parents are waiting for him and goes to New York to find them. In New York, his musical gift leads him to success but also gives him some trouble. A monger uses Evan to make money and prevents him from achieving success. He escapes and runs into a church and people there are surprised by his gift and send him to the best music school, Juilliard. There he receives an education ... Written by
The story is based on the plot of Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens. In addition to the main characters (August/Oliver, Wizard/Fagin, Arthur/The Artful Dodger) it also includes some of the more obscure characters from the book, such as Oliver's friend Dick from the workhouse/August's friend in the orphanage, Hope/Rose Maylie, Rev. James/Mr. Brownlow, and Lyla's Father/Monks. See more »
When Mr. Jeffries goes to the docks to pick up August, various shots show him with and without iPod headphones in. See more »
But I believe in music... The way that some people believe in fairy tales.
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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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