August Rush

"August Rush" is a drama, a romance, a musical and a fantasy all rolled into one delightfully entertaining package.

The story begins eleven years prior to the present. A talented cellist, a graduate of Juilliard School of Music, has given a concert at Lincoln Center in New York City. Lyla Novacek, played by Keri Russell ("Waitress" and "The Upside of Anger") is carefully managed by her ambitious father. After the concert she goes to the roof of the building where the after party is being held because she needs to decompress.

On the roof is a rock musician, Louis Connelly, played by Jonathan Rhys Meyers ("Bend it Like Beckham," "The Velvet Goldmine" and "Match Point"), who is also decompressing from his performance as a popular guitar player in a small band; he has just completed an appearance at a nearby club.

They meet, discover to their mutual delight that they are kindred spirits and spend the night together up there on the roof. Of course her father derails their plans to meet again the following day at Washington Square Arch, so they are lost to one another. Lyla discovers she is pregnant, is injured in an accident when she is near term and her father tells her the baby died, though he actually signed it over for adoption. His duplicity was in vain; she quits performing and becomes a music teacher in Chicago.

Louis has also stifled his love of music, has become a successful businessman and lives in San Francisco.

Their son, who eventually adopts the professional name of August Rush, is raised in an orphanage. He is reluctant to leave because he is afraid his parents won't be able to find him. August is played to perfection by Freddie Highmore ("Finding Neverland" and "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory"). He is bullied by the older boys because he has an unshakable belief that his parents will find him. He has had no contact with music or the making of music during his life in the institution.

When he is eventually told he is to be sent out for adoption, he runs away. Here is where the fantasy comes in. His first contacts with various musical instruments are almost psychic. He hears music in the traffic, the jackhammers, the skate boards, etc., and when he hears a guitar for the first time he is transported...and so will you be! You have NEVER heard a guitar played quite like this before. AND little Highmore learned to play guitar specifically for this role!

The sound track on the movie is amazing! It goes from street music, rock and gospel, to classic orchestral and fusion sounds that are unique and satisfying. Even the exit music is wonderful.

As I say so often, clichés become clichés because they WORK! My companion and I got goose bumps right on cue, she cried when she was supposed to, we thrilled to the drama of three lost people searching for each other, and naturally, we were immensely satisfied with the ending. This is NOT a spoiler. You know from the beginning that somehow this just HAS to have a happy ending, but you also know you are going to enjoy every step of the process!

Other than Robin Williams playing a hateful (and scary) Fagan-like exploiter of street children, you have armloads of people you can root for. What more could a person want?

I didn't like it...I LOVED it!