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  Publicity Stills of "August Rush"
(Courtesy from Shaw)

Genre: Drama/Musical
Director: Kirsten Sheridan
Cast: Freddie Highmore, Keri Russell, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Terrence Howard, Robin Williams
RunTime: 1 hr 53 mins
Released By: Shaw
Rating: PG
Official Website: http://augustrushmovie.warnerbros.com

Opening Day: 6 March 2008



The incredible story of a modern day Mozart.

11-year-old child prodigy August Rush (Freddie Highmore 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) is an orphan in search of his parents. Along the way, he touches the people around him by his incredible gift of music and takes the world by storm as the youngest ever composer for the New York Philharmonic.

Movie Review:

Music has a powerful effect on people. Case in point – after watching the musical drama, my movie partner immediately rushed to a music store to purchase the soundtrack. Apparently, the songs and score for this Kirsten Sheridian-directed movie have left such a lasting impression that she has to own the album, complete with its nicely-printed stills and liner notes.

With his messy but cute floppy hair and his sympathetic doe-eyed look, Freddie Highmore (Finding Neverland, The Spiderwick Chronicles) scores with another custom-made role. This time, he plays young music prodigy who grows up in an orphanage. His wish is to be reunited with his parents whom have been separated from him the day he was born. Along the way, he meets a conniving stranger and a group of like-minded musicians. Eventually, he ends up in the prestigious Julliard and gets to perform in New York City’s Central Park – but can he be reunited with his parents, a charismatic guitarist and a talented cellist?

While the answer is clear, the main draw of this sentimental flick has to be its wondrous musical journey throughout its 113-minute runtime. From the opening sequence where Highmore ruffles through grand grasslands to the finale where the young English actor grandly conducts an orchestra, the score composed by Mark Mancina (Tarzan, Shooter) is nothing short of heartwarming and enjoyable. Then there are the songs. Jonathan Rhys Meyers, who plays Highmore’s father, performs his own songs with a more than pleasing set of vocals that will sweep girls off their feet. Be it the rock-inspired “Break” or the soulful “This Time”, the Irish heartthrob is a charmer on screen. Taking some time off to look cute on screen, child talent Jamia Simone Nash performs the Oscar-nominated “Raise It Up” with the Impact Repertory Theatre in one of the movie’s most inspirational scenes. The rest of the musical elements are completed by Kaki King’s skilful guitar plucking and Steve Erdody’s cello playing. These two musicians are hand double talents to Highmore and Keri Russell’s (Waitress, Mission Impossible III) idealistic mother character respectively.

While Rhys Meters and Russell have great on-screen chemistry, other supporting characters are somewhat blandly filled out by Robin Williams and Terrence Howard.

The illogically impossible and sometimes absurd plot may not go well with some viewers, but for anyone who loves movies which are inspirationally fantastical, this one is for you. Watch as Highmore goes on an almost impossible journey to fulfill his dream of locating his parents. Be touched as Rhys Meyers and Russell are separated by fate and hopefully brought together by music. Laugh as the jumpy Simone Nash uncovers Highmore’s hidden talent for composing before he gets whisked off to come up with an impressive rhapsody for a full orchestra.

Complete with saccharine dialogue and tear-inducing one liners like “Music is all around you, all you have to do is listen”, this is one picture that is not ashamed to be emotionally sappy. In fact, it out-rightly wants you to fall in love with its sentimentality and believe in the power of music. Go on, indulge in this guilty pleasure and get yourself a soundtrack after that.

Movie Rating:

(You’ll fall in love with music and its healing powers after watching this pleasing fable)

Review by John Li


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. Enchanted (2007)

. Across The Universe (2007)

. Hairspray (2007)

. Dreamgirls (2006)

. Walk The Line (2005)

. Rent (2005)

. Finding Neverland (2005)


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