Friday, December 14, 2007

Film on Friday - August Rush

This Friday our Natasha Oakley brings us a new 2007 release - 'August Rush' ...

Anyone love a fairy tale? In that case 'August Rush' might be the movie for you. It does require a willing desire to suspend disbelief but, as you all know, I don't mind that in a story.

The basic premise is simple. It's about a boy who has been separated from his parents, who in their turn have been separated from each other. The movie begins with the boy, played by a remarkable Freddie Highmore. When we meet him he's in a state orphanage, quite determined not to be placed with a 'real family' because he doesn't want to make it difficult for his parents to find him.

Richard Jeffries: How long have you been here?
August Rush: Eleven years and sixteen days. I've been counting.

August, or Evan as he's called at this point, can hear music in everything - the wheat fields, the wind chimes, the wind ... And he's convinced this is connecting him to his parents.

August Rush: [about his parents] The music. I thought if I could play it, they would know I was alive. And find me.

One day he decides they're taking too long to find him and so he sets off to do the job himself.

In New York he is eventually 'adopted' by Wizard, played by Robin Williams, who is a kind of Fagin character. It's better than the orphanage but Wizard is no altruistic figure. He says, right at the beginning, that he's running a business. He's a kind of musical pimp. I think that's the best way of putting it. And, August, as Evan is now renamed, is something of a gift. Set August playing on any street corner and the money rolls in.

I bet you all want to know what happened to August's parents???

Keri Russell plays August's concert cellist mum, Lyla Novacek. His father, an Irish rock musician called Louis Connelly, is played by Jonathan Rhys Meyers.

Lyla Novacek: What are you looking at?
Louis Connelly: You.

The two had one magical night together before Lyla's dad forces her on to her next concert and away from Louis. He believes their short time together must have meant nothing to her and doesn't try to contact her.

Their one night of passion resulted in the conception of August. When Lyla is knocked down by a car her father takes the opportunity to give the baby up for adoption so nothing will get in the way of his daughter's musical career. For eleven years Lyla believes her baby died.

Those eleven years have been tough - Lyla no longer performs and Louis has given up music entirely. When Lyla's dad is dying he finally tells his daughter the truth and she sets off to find her son.

Richard Jeffries: Why is it so important that you want him now?
Lyla Novacek: I've ALWAYS wanted him!

Meanwhile, August has been discovered as a musical genius. What's more he finds his way to the Juilliard School where his composition for cello and orchestra, entitled 'August's Rhapsody', is chosen to be performed in Central Park.

Hope: You remember how you said Mozart was a musical pie?
Reverend James: Prodigy.
Hope: Yeah, well, I've got one of those and he's living under my bed!

Remember this is a fairytale .. so his mother, feeling the need to perform again, is hired as the solo cellist, unaware the composer is her son.

Just when we think everything is going to turn out beautifully, Wizard then takes August back to the life of a street performer. And that's where he unknowingly he meets up with his father.

Only there's that concert in Central Park - and the music draws them all together.

It's a good movie. I enjoyed it. And I've been thinking about it since I got home which is always a good sign. I certainly think it was worth seeing and I don't begrudge the entrance fee. I shall also hire it on DVD, but I don't think it's one I will buy.

So, what's wrong with it?

Well, if you are a musician I think you'll find it annoying. I went with my thirteen year old daughter who is a bit of a prodigy herself. Apparently Keri Russell was NOT playing the cello. She also objected to August's playing of the organ and guitar. I noticed nothing.

On the other hand, the score is brilliant. It's composed by Mark Mancini and he somehow has delivered something you believe might be a 'harmonic connection between all living beings'.

I also wished the ending had been a bit 'more'. It feels strangely unfinished. Yes, all the people are in the right place for the family to be reuinited, but I wanted to see it. I've been busy writing it in my head ever since.

For that last reason I'm going to give it a lower rating than I might have. I give it a Pink Heart Fuzzy Rating of 8 out of 10.

Click here for a look at the trailer.

With love

This July saw the start of a brand-new series in the Presents line - The Royal House of Niroli.

"The Mediterranean island of Niroli has prospered for centuries under the Fierezza men. But now, as the King’s health declines, and his 2 sons have been tragically killed, the crown is in jeopardy. Who will rule? "

Book 1: The Future King's Pregnant Mistress - Penny Jordan
Book 2: Surgeon Prince ... Ordinary Wife - Melanie Milburne
Book 3: Bought By the Billionaire Prince - Carol Marinelli
Book 4: The Tycoon's Princess Bride - Natasha Oakley
Book 5: Expecting His Royal Baby - Susan Stephens
Book 6: the Prince's Forbidden Virgin - Robyn Donald
Book 7: Bride By Royal Apointment - Raye Morgan
Book 8: A Royal Bride At The Shiekh's Command - Penny Jordan

Natasha's book, 'The Tycoon's Princess Bride', is available NOW in the UK and North America - and is a Romantic Times Magazine Top Pick.

Come visit Natasha at her blog!


  1. Blimey, a decent film with Robin Williams in, this I've got to see. Although I have got a big soft spot for Terence Howard — anyone see Hustle and Flow? Made pimps seem totally soulful — and he's gorgeous which doesn't hurt either.

  2. Lol, I often keep writing the story after a movie has ended too, Natasha.

    Some stories just beg for it more than others.

  3. well, no need to see it now I know the plot!