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The Movie You Should Rent This Weekend

April 18, 2008

Time to watch movies has been very hard to find lately. Life and all of its general chaos just steals it away.

I was fortunate enough this last week to see one great movie! I have to qualify the meaning of “great”. Some movies are great, say, like The Transformers. Awesome action and explosions and computer animation. Great in every sense of the word.

Then there are movies such as the Lord of the Rings trilogy which transcend normal story telling devices and are in every way epic. The settings are exotic and the characters are foreign and story speaks to our heart.

August RushThe movie that captured my attention and touched my spirit was August Rush.  Here is the official review by amazon.com:

Music has long been considered a universal language with the power to bring people together, but can the simple act of playing music possibly unite a child with a mother and father who live in two different cities and don’t even know of the child’s existence? Having shared one extraordinary night, classical cellist Lyla Novacek (Keri Russell) and Irish singer and songwriter Louis Connelly (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) were a union meant to be that was torn apart by circumstances and a protective father (William Sadler). After eleven years, both Lyla and Louis have given up performing only to find that they are unhappy and searching for a sense of fulfillment that will ultimately lead both artists back to music and performing. Evan (Freddie Highmore) is an 11-year old orphan who’s grown up hearing music in everything around him and is convinced that his real parents want him and will find him with the help of music. Driven by his innate musical genius and a powerful compulsion to perform before the world, Evan runs away from the orphanage and is initially taken in by a street man known as Wizard (Robin Williams) who encourages his musical talent and renames him August Rush and, later, by a local priest who arranges for August to receive a Julliard education. August is a child prodigy who excels beyond even the wildest expectations and earns the opportunity of a lifetime–a chance to perform in front of an enormous audience in New York’s Central Park. The question is; can his performance possibly reach the audience August really craves? While elements of this film are completely unbelievable (take August’s instant prowess on the guitar or his immediate and sophisticated grasp of musical notation and musical theory), the message of the universality of music and the notion that “the music is all around us, all you have to do is listen” is both compelling and powerful. –Tami Horiuchi

With all that said, this movie is truly a homerun.  It has depth and feeling and brings the viewer into its world.  The movie does move at its own pace, winding slowly through August’s life and telling the tale of how his parents meet.  I’m a very huge fan of music, and this movie taps into that passion in a very big way.  August Rush is gifted in ways I would love to be.  He can hear music in everything, from wind moving the grass to the hum of power lines to the busy bustle of city life.  The music is in him, seeking to be released.

As I said earlier, this movie moves me in a couple of different ways.  The romantic in me can feel the gut-level love that connects August’s parents.  Once that love is gone, it extinguishes everything, and their passion for the music that expresses how they feel is sadly gone.  To love someone that deeply is a gratifying and mystical experience. 

Then, of course, the music of this movie is stupendous.  The producers created something truly magical.  Most of the music is classical in nature, but it maginifies and personifies the prodigy of August Rush.  I love the scene where August’s mom is playing her cello with fierce passion and the director overlays August’s dad playing his rocking love song so the two songs become one.  It is truly touching.

Music From The Motion PictureI downloaded the soundtrack this morning and have been listening to it all day.  It really captures to magnificence of the movie.  A lot of gospel, light rock, classical and jazz fused togethter for a wonderful listening experience.

So, to sum it all up:  if you love music, and you love movies that capture that mystical experience called love – then you should just go buy this movie!

It is family friendly, with maybe one or two minor curse words, but I’d let my kids (13, 11, and 9) watch it without hesitation.

 

 

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