There’s an annoying kid, Arthur (Freddie Highmore). He lives with his nan (Mia Farrow) because his parents are in town trying to earn money. Most of his time is spent reading about and recreating his grandfather’s inventions; his grandfather disappeared on an expedition. But when big business threatens to take the house away, Arthur needs to try to find the fortune his grandfather buried in their garden, but discovers a whole different world.
A lot of kids films are made with some consideration to the adults who take the kids to see them, and have a decent story or some good humour. Not this one. I’m sure a lot of kids love the film, but I found the plot weak, the characters tedious and annoying and essentially, I just hated the film from beginning to end.
Evan (Freddie Highmore) is an orphan who is about twelve and lives in a group home believing that if he ‘follows the music’ he will find his parents. He runs away and ends up in New York city with no money, but falls on his feet to some extent after finding Arthur (Leon Thomas III), a kid who busks and lives with a bunch of kids in a condemned theatre with their benefactor, Wizard (Robin Williams). After a series of events, he ends up studying at Julliard and writes a symphony that the New York Philharmonic end up playing in a concert in Central Park. His mother Lyla (Keri Russell) has been told by her evil father that the baby didn’t survive when he had, in fact, put him up for adoption, and I don’t think Evan’s father Louis (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) even know he existed. Would the music bring them all together?
Who cares? This is an absolute stinker. It seems like the story could potentially have legs, but the main character is such an insipid and annoying character that I don’t care, the structure of flashbacks mixed in with present moments is sloppy and I had no connection to any of the characters at all. It felt as though when the script was being developed, someone kept pointing out potential holes in the plot and then some crappy thing was written in to plug it. And I couldn’t see the point of Robin Williams’ character. It was like he was supposed to be an evil, horrible man and instead he was just a bit shouty sometimes. Whatever.
August Rush was nominated for an Oscar for Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song (Raise it Up).