AUGUST RUSH (***) - Starring Freddie Highmore, Keri Russell, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Robin Williams, Terrence Howard and William Sadler.
Written by Nick Castle & James V. Hart.
Directed by Kirsten Sheridan.
The cranky curmudgeonly critics at Rottentomatoes.com give this a 37% rating, most of them complaining about how unrealistic it is. Well, duh, it's a fantasy. Enchanted wasn't realistic either.
It's about a pair of musicians who meet for a one-night stand. They separate, and she believes the baby died in an accident, and so man and woman live their lives, stagnant, feeling empty somehow. The baby grows up to be 11-year-old August Rush (Freddie Highmore), an orphan and a musical prodigy. He bounces around, eventually landing in a circle of homeless kids run by the Fagin-esque "Wizard", played by Robin Williams. When I first saw him in that Bono hat, I thought Williams would bug me, but he didn't. His character worked.
Through the whole movie is the theme of music, how transcedent it can be. There is a series of coincidences and contrivances that make characters cross paths like stick-boats in a summer stream. It adds up to the sentimental climax, which hit me. Probably because I let it, and the fanciful way the movie plays with destiny made me want to let it.