"Finding God in the Music of Life"
What You Need To Know:
In 2007, it’s a rare movie that sends audiences home happy and inspired. AUGUST RUSH not only leaves you wanting to cheer but also wanting to soak in every sound and write music. AUGUST RUSH glorifies good music as a talent from God, but one villainous character attributes the gift to the universe. The movie opens with an unwed pregnancy, but it also clearly presents the church and its pastor in a positive light and shows God redeeming people’s lives.
(CC, BB, H, L, V, S, A, M) Strong Christian worldview with strong moral elements where God works through music to redeem a tragic situation, and one character is more focused on “the universe” than on God but he is not portrayed as the hero in the story; one fairly minor obscenity and no profanities; minimal violence includes a man hit with a guitar and some chase sequences; love scene opening the movie results in a pregnancy out of wedlock but is not graphic; no nudity; some alcohol use by band members but no obvious drunkenness; no smoking or drug use; and, girl’s father forges her name on adoption papers and tells his daughter her child died, man poses as a child’s father in order to get the child to make him money, and children in orphanage tease and threaten other children.
AUGUST RUSH is an inspiring movie about a gifted boy who believes he can find his parents through music. It opens with a young beautiful concert cellist (Keri Russell) having a one-night fling with a guitar playing lead singer in an Irish band. The cellist gets pregnant but when the baby is born early due to a car accident, her domineering father forges adoption papers and tells his daughter the child died.
The young boy is raised in an orphanage where he is considered a nut because he hears sounds as music and believes this gift will help him find his parents. The boy winds up in New York City where his amazing musical gift results in his being “adopted” and renamed August Rush by a musical talent pimp known as the Wizard, a character straight out of Charles Dickens’ OLIVER TWIST. The Wizard, played by Robin Williams, posts talented children around town playing instruments for donations which must be brought back to “the family.” Williams’ role is both sympathetic and sinister. He does “rescue” and feed children, but he treats them like property.
A police raid on the family’s “home” results in August winding up in a church where he makes friends with a young black singer and demonstrates his God-given gift on the church organ. His musical ability is called a miraculous gift. The pastor does what he can to help August and prays that he will find his parents. Like a classic old novel, the Wizard comes back into the plot again to make life difficult for August.
In 2007, it’s a rare movie that sends audiences home happy and inspired. AUGUST RUSH not only leaves you wanting to cheer, but also leaves you wanting to soak in every sound in your environment and write music. Granted, God doesn’t give everyone the gift to be able to write great music. That’s probably a good thing. It’s good to be able to share your talents, and it’s wonderful to see or hear the work of someone as gifted as Mozart or Beethoven.
AUGUST RUSH is to be commended for glorifying good music as a talent given by God, but the Robin Williams character, while recognizing the gift, attributes it to the universe. Furthermore, while the movie clearly presents the church and its pastor in a positive light, it does open with the one-night stand (nothing graphic) that results in the birth of a child. God does not condone sex outside of marriage, but the movie shows that He loves both the parents and the children and wants to redeem the lives of those who make mistakes, which includes all of us.
Production values in AUGUST RUSH are excellent and the language remarkably clean for a movie focusing on inner city life. The movie proves you can make a highly entertaining movie in downtown New York without loading it with foul language. We cannot imagine a single ticket purchaser who went home wishing they could have heard the “f” word a few dozen times.