With Music its Star, Whole of ‘August Rush’ Greater Than Sum of Parts

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HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3/5CHICAGO – When you look at films critically, you sometimes spend too much time examining the pieces of the whole without stepping back from the picture and taking it as a complete work.

Keri Russell in August Rush
Keri Russell in “August Rush”.
Photo credit: IMDb

“August Rush” is the perfect case of studying the trees and completely forgetting about the forest. The film follows the orphaned Evan Taylor (Freddy Highmore) as he searches for his parents against seemingly insurmountable odds using music as his guide.

After escaping from an orphanage, he makes his way to New York City.

Evan falls in with a group of outlawed child musicians led by Maxwell “Wizard” Wallace (portrayed by Robin Williams). Evan is soon discovered as a musical prodigy and uses his music to continue his search for his mother and father.

Freddie Highmore in August Rush
Freddie Highmore in “August Rush”.
Photo credit: IMDb

The film only starts firing up after the first 30 minutes. The backstory of Evan’s parents (Keri Russell and Jonathan Rhys Meyers) seems to be thrown together and so quickly escalated that you don’t have time to care about either one’s situation.

In “August Rush,” director Kirsten Sheridan lacks a clear voice. The direction cuts between so many stories, characters and periods of time that you can’t fully appreciate what you’re seeing when you’re seeing it.

At times, you’re left wanting more from a particular storyline. The acting in this film is up and down. Kerri Russell and Robin Williams both give performances that were neither exceptional nor terrible.

Robin Williams in August Rush
Robin Williams in “August Rush”.
Photo credit: IMDb

Jonathan Rhys Meyers is at the same level in this film that he has been in every other movie he has made: terrible. His acting’s so awful that even his native Irish dialect seems forced and clichéd. The highlight of this film is Freddy Highmore.

Even at such a young age, he’s able to capture his character’s center better than any two people in this movie combined. He plays his role with a level of truthfulness and innocence that hasn’t been matched by a child actor in some time.

As with every film like this, the music is the ultimate star. The score by Mark Mancina is uplifting and fun and the guitar playing of the characters is almost worth the price of admission alone.

Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Keri Russell in August Rush
Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Keri Russell in “August Rush”.
Photo credit: IMDb

If you’re going in with desires of realism, you may want to skip it. If you’re a fan of the musical fantasy genre, you may be pleased.

The film certainly has several faults. If you just sit down, watch and let it wash over you like a perfectly scored concerto, you won’t leave the theater disappointed. The whole of “August Rush” is truly greater than the sum of its parts.

“August Rush” opened on Nov. 21, 2007.

By Evan O’Donnell
Staff Writer

© 2007 Evan O’Donnell, HollywoodChicago.com

sindhu's picture


fantastic movie!
mix between strong story, music harmony, and perfext visualization! bravo!!!

Anonymous's picture

AUGUST RUSH is part romance,

AUGUST RUSH is part romance, part gentle fantasy, but this sweet drama is all heart. Wizard gives Evan the name August Rush as he begins performing all over the city, but the boy’s ultimate goal is to find the parents he has never met. Though it could draw comparisons to OLIVER! and ANNIE, this is a unique and heartwarming film.

Anonymous's picture

Interesting way to look at

Interesting way to look at it. For the most part, I agree with you. It would be great if got more post like this. I appreciate it.

Anonymous's picture

Great Post. Does anyone know

Great Post. Does anyone know if there is a legal way I can display this content on my own website- thanks

HollywoodChicago.com's picture

E-mail Adam Fendelman

Music Videos wrote:
Great Post. Does anyone know if there is a legal way I can display this content on my own website- thanks

You’re welcome to e-mail me from here: http://www.hollywoodchicago.com/contact

Anonymous's picture

I found lots of interesting

I found lots of interesting information here. The post was professionally written and I feel like the author has extensive knowledge in the subject. Keep it that way.

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