Vote now for Best of Detroit 2021

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

August Rush

Posted By on Wed, Nov 28, 2007 at 12:00 AM

Every time a movie musical comes out, the same old story surfaces about how the genre is dead. Then it's forgotten for several months till the next one comes along. While nobody breaks into spontaneous dance numbers, August Rush is very much a musical (though a backdoor one) that hits every sappy, no-dry-eye note in the familiar songbook.

August Rush is played by Freddy Highmore, a ruddy-cheeked moppet who bears an uncanny resemblance to a pint-sized Christian Bale. At first, the wide-eyed Rush is Evan, a ward of the state. He grew up in orphanages because his parents don't know he exists — he's the byproduct of a one-night tryst between scruffy Irish rocker Louis (Johnathn Rhys Meyers) and elegant concert cellist Lyla (Keri Russel), who met at a New York cocktail party. Through a series of unbelievable circumstances, Evan is separated at birth, yet never gives up hope that his rightful parents will retrieve him, despite a kindly social worker's (Terrance Howard) suggestion otherwise.

So, to avoid being placed in yet another home, he runs to the streets of NYC, where he falls in with a flock of runaways led by the tweaked-out hustler Wizard (Robin Williams). Sooner than you can say "Artful Dodger," Wiz christens the kid August Rush and turns him out on the streets to earn cash with his amazingly advanced guitar skills.

Seems Rush's a Mozart-level prodigy, a musical skill the Wiz's keen to exploit. As his unbelievably attractive (but dim) parents begin to piece together the puzzle about their lost child, the Wiz tightens his grip on the kid.

Not a moment of this exists in a believable universe, but the movie hugs its own fairytale nature and holds on for dear life. But there's a passion that prevents it from curdling from its own sweetness, and makes for a pleasant enough experience. The music is good, if forgettable, the actors are nice and the pictures are pretty enough to warm all but the coldest humbug hearts.

Musicals are often simply comfort food and — while this ain't a classic — every once in a while it's OK to believe in happy endings.

Corey Hall writes about film for Metro Times. Send comments to


We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Most Popular

Read the Digital Print Issue

October 20, 2021

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit

© 2021 Detroit Metro Times - Contact Us

Website powered by Foundation