2007, 114 mins., directed by Kirsten Sheridan.
A fairy tale of a movie, loosely based on the book, Oliver Twist, by Charles Dickens. Musically gifted orphan, August Rush, played by Freddie Highmore (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) runs away, ending up on the streets of New York City in hopes of locating his long lost parents, Lyla, played by Keri Russell (The Americans) and Louis, played by Jonathan Rhys Meyers (The Tudors). Lyla was a promising, Juillard-trained cellist, when she met Louis, lead singer in a rock band, a one-night stand and a pregnancy ensued. The lovers failed to meet again. Lyla was told by her controlling father after giving birth in the hospital that she lost her baby. In reality, her father forged her signature on papers giving up the child, so that her career would not be ruined. Both Lyla and Louis have since given up their musical lives. Meanwhile, August is taken in by the Wizard, played by the late Robin Williams, who exploits street kids’ musical talents to make a quick buck. The Wizard gives the orphan his new name upon seeing a passing truck with the words, “August Rush,” written on the side in an ad. During the course of the film, August exhibits a flair for playing the guitar, writing music, playing a church organ, as well as conducting – all without any formal musical education! And, of course, he ends up at Juillard, and his rhapsody composition is selected to be performed in Central Park. A happy ending ensues, when by chance, both Lyla and Louis end up at the performance, reunited. See the record for August Rush.
Les Kong, Coordinator of the Library Multi Media Center (PL-5005), and longtime Alfred Hitchcock fan, reviews movies from the library’s collection. The opinions expressed are his alone.