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Customer Review

55 of 64 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Music and the Harmony of the Universe: A Film for Dreamers, March 19, 2008
This review is from: August Rush (DVD)
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
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Showing 1-10 of 31 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 20, 2008 9:28:21 AM PDT
I keep hearing good things about this movie...I guess I should give it a try. Great review!

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 20, 2008 10:03:05 AM PDT
Possibly so. Could you tell us why it's a great review?

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 20, 2008 3:43:15 PM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Sep 9, 2008 10:51:02 AM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 21, 2008 1:27:36 PM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on May 5, 2008 1:32:22 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 21, 2008 2:48:23 PM PDT
I think it unfair of Andrew Ellington not to have provided any clues to flesh out his assertion that Harp's is a "great review!" The absence of meaningful illustration has, sad to say, left many readers of it still wandering in the dark.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 21, 2008 4:04:22 PM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Mar 23, 2008 9:20:59 AM PDT]

Posted on Mar 22, 2008 9:06:29 AM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Apr 30, 2008 4:53:09 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 22, 2008 4:43:07 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 22, 2008 6:35:50 PM PDT
Has somebody tripped, hit her head, and given her brain an unlucky shake?
The second of the two Barbara Delaney comments on this page for some reason strikes me as not genuinely coming from the pen of the usually insightful, witty lady herself. Could it have been it penned by someone else, now calling herself Barbara, though earlier today hiding behind the name of a Ms. Hedge? The lifted, mediocre phrasing of the too enthusiastic Betty Dravis, I notice, is the only constant here. Are we dealing then, as I suspect, with a case of brain-injury amnesia? The alternative is that some irony-challenged troll is playing facetiously with other people's identities, and I can't imagine who that could be. Moreover, such embarrassingly "teenage-like" messing around is something surely no grown up in full possession of her faculties could possibly find appealing. Brain -injury - induced amnesia it must be.

Posted on Mar 22, 2008 5:32:19 PM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Apr 30, 2008 4:52:09 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 22, 2008 6:33:58 PM PDT
Bravo, Ken, for this lucid and witty deconstruction of a dull, formulaic review of the film. The reviewer could justly have given it perhaps just one star. Your insight here raises fresh doubts as to the motives behind the praises given to Grady by his new friend Andrew Ellington and his old one, the new amnesiac who thinks she's morphed into Barbara Delaney.
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Review Details

Item

Reviewer

Grady Harp
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   

Location: Los Angeles, CA United States

Top Reviewer Ranking: 96