And this is why I love HBO. It's a rainy day, and I'm at home sick. I'm able to explore the hundreds of channels I pay for each month but so rarely get to selfishly indulge. Last year, I had read a review for "August Rush" and "Once" that critiqued both movies together. Somehow, I'd forgotten about "August Rush", so that when I saw "Once", I confused the plotlines.
This week, I finally got to see "August Rush". I'm begging you, if you haven't yet seen this movie, sit down with your family and watch it. Forgive the predictable, suspend your cynicism and logic and treat this film as the fable and fairy tale that it is. The movie treats the titular character as a bit of an Oliver Twist, with Robin Williams channeling Bono in the role of Fagin. (If you're like me and the presence of Robin Williams in a movie is enough to make you swear off, don't fret-he's the character you're encouraged to hate here.) In reality, the main character of this movie is the music. The film is structured as a symphony, the beautiful ending an allegro performed by the New York Philharmonic, with nods to Van Morrison's "Moondance".
Jonathon Rhys-Myers and Keri Russell play the starcrossed musician lovers Louis and Lyla, who are torn apart, but not before they've discreetly consummated their love and created a baby who is a savant that hears music everywhere from birth. The baby grows to become Evan, aka August Rush, played brilliantly and earnestly by Freddie Highmore. Very few child actors impress me in film, they're too often guilty of overacting or wooden performances. Highmore is adept at bringing the audience along for his musical discovery and journey.
In the interest of full disclosure, this movie divided our house. The males could not help but point out every single improbable event that occurred in the film. The females were too busy weeping to effectively dismiss the charges. So I repeat, this is a movie about magic. It is supposed to be illogical and dreamy. Go with the flow, and enjoy the music. I hope you'll thank me.