I finally had a chance to watch August Rush, which was up for a number of Oscar noms this year. Now I know why.
Are you ever surprised by a movie to the point where you’re on the edge of your seat from the point it grabs you to the point when it lets you go? August Rush did that to me Friday night… Another musical journey movie, and I think it’s just moved into the lead ahead of Once. In that same list, but in third place falls Mr. Holland’s Opus and in fourth falls Across the Universe, Tap, then Fame, and in the far distance is Music of the Heart…
Here‘s the IMDB link.
This faery tale movie tells the story of young orphan Evan Taylor (aka August Rush) and his journey of faith in music to find his parents. He can “hear” the music of the world and is a musical prodigy, though you don’t know that for a while…
The music was from Mark Mancina, and it is truly out of this world. Everything from Bach mixed with Rock (amazing) to acoustic guitars (beautiful), from gospel piano and pipe organ to a full orchestra (heart-wrenching and uplifting)… I have to honestly say that many of the pieces moved me to tears. Music, good music, has the power to do that to me. Music has the potential of sharing emotion so raw that it can touch your core if you listen…
And what a cast… Freddie Highmore (also great in The Spiderwick Chronicles) was amazing in the title role as Evan/August. Keri Russell continues to amaze me and did great as Lyla (was also great in Waitress). Jonathyn Rhys Meyers did great as the hard rocker Louis. Terrence Howard as the social worker with a big heart. Robin Williams as the insane ‘Wizard’ training and managing street performers. Mykelti Williamson as the Reverend who finds August “the angel” in his church.
And even with such amazing music and a great cast, the movie would be nothing if not for the story. The script was adapted by Nick Castle and James Hart from a story written by Castle & Paul Castro. This story weaves the past and the present into a seamless narrative. Not once was I pulled from the film — which is amazing.
What are the lessons of this faery tale? There are a few… The usual ones… Follow your dreams. Always a good one. Listen to the world around you and you might catch the soundtrack of life. I personally agree with this one, but am not always able to do it. And finally… everyone and everything is connected.
I don’t know much about quantum mechanics. Physics was never my strong suit. But there’s the concept that these quantum elements can be intertwined. And that no matter where they are in relation to each other, they know what the other is doing. That’s kind of the message here… Music is one of the threads that can tie us all together. It’s a good thought to ponder.
The thought that music is all around us if we but stop to listen is one I can totally relate to. It’s not a new one explored by this movie, but one explored very well. Another great movie was Tap, which explored the same idea through dance with Gregory Hines and Sammy Davis Jr. (Which funny enough I just found out via IMDB that it was also written by Nick Castle. What a small world!)
So to say the least, I recommend this movie to anyone. There are some scenes where violence is suggested and Robin Williams plays kind of a bastard at times, so this may not be for kids. But it’s moving, musical, and amazing. What more could you ask for?
I give it 5 out of 4 stars. I’ve already picked up the soundtrack on iTunes and will be buying the DVD soon enough. 🙂
Let me know what you think!