So I just watched “August Rush” which I got from Netflix months ago and somehow didn’t get to. I really enjoyed it, and if you want to write music, like music, or are interested in the different ways it comes into form, you might appreciate this story. It’s not about every way art happens, but it’s got enough art to it that it might inspire you to make some of your own.
That said, it has all the ingredients for a terrible cliched romance, but for me, it floats right by them. Now, I write and plot stories and scripts on occasion so when I see something coming a mile away, I don’t know if whether it’s so obvious to the general audience, but here, the foreshadows and dovetailing puzzle pieces were welcome because the characters are so likable that you wants things to go their way.
It doesn’t hurt that Freddy Highmore, Keri Russell and Jonathon Rhys Meyers play lead roles, with a spirited performance from Robin Williams as an NYC Fagin-type, gathering orphans and homeless kids for his personal ensemble. And the score by Mark Mancini just keeps pushing the music-focused plot forward, even though it’s not a musical. But as the kid is a musical savant whose origin comes in a backstory that eventually comes together in the present, you can imagine the soundtrack is fully a character throughout.
I’ve probably already said too much about it and spoiled the innocent surprise that I came to it with knowing nothing, but if you want to see another one of those sweet movies that explores how artists are inspired by the world around them with a driving force that compels them to create and share, this is a good one.
P.S. Also filmed on location in New York City, so the city is a character. And the music comes in a bit more organically than “Fame” and those kind of musicals (except maybe Lunch Time Jam) so it’s not just wedged in.