Anytime I feel a lack of inspiration in the future, I think I will watch August Rush.
I pulled out the soundtrack today, for the first time in years, and I was getting absolutely weepy just thinking about this lovely little story. I fell in love with the movie when I first saw it, and it remains one of my favorites for a sweet, moving, “feel good” film.
Music has long been considered a universal language with the power to bring people together, but can the simple act of playing music possibly unite a child with a mother and father who live in two different cities and don’t even know of the child’s existence? Having shared one extraordinary night, classical cellist Lyla Novacek (Keri Russell) and Irish singer and songwriter Louis Connelly (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) were a union meant to be that was torn apart by circumstances and a protective father (William Sadler). After eleven years, both Lyla and Louis have given up performing only to find that they are unhappy and searching for a sense of fulfillment that will ultimately lead both artists back to music and performing. Evan (Freddie Highmore) is an 11-year old orphan who’s grown up hearing music in everything around him and is convinced that his real parents want him and will find him with the help of music. Driven by his innate musical genius and a powerful compulsion to perform before the world, Evan runs away from the orphanage and is initially taken in by a street man known as Wizard (Robin Williams) who encourages his musical talent and renames him August Rush and, later, by a local priest who arranges for August to receive a Julliard education. August is a child prodigy who excels beyond even the wildest expectations and earns the opportunity of a lifetime–a chance to perform in front of an enormous audience in New York’s Central Park. The question is: can his performance possibly reach the audience August really craves? [from Amazon.com]
Soundtracks always catapult me right back into memories of the movie, and as I was listening & remembering the story today, I thought about it in a whole new way. One of the things that has remained with me about this little movie is the way August clings to the everyday beauties of life — even though he has spent his life in less than ideal circumstances, longing for the one thing he doesn’t have: his family.
This sweet and almost impossibly optimistic little boy reaches out to grab life with both hands — the good and the bad, the ordinary and the magical, the heartbreaking and the joyous. Who can forget that final scene of August’s triumphant performance, where his music demonstrates how he has found beauty in even the most mundane aspects of life around him in New York City? Possibly it’s adorable Freddie Highmore’s performance as August, but the most memorable part of the movie to me is how August simply radiates the joys of a “wild and precious life” in spite of the darkness he has faced.
It fits quite delightfully well with everything I have learned in the last few years about counting my 1,000 gifts, celebrating simple Tuesdays, and most recently, looking for lovely. God imprints my world with His fingerprints, everywhere I look — but I only see them if I learn to look around with my eyes wide open, instead of wandering around with my mind muddled with worry, or my eyes clouded by the addictive whims of technology. Will I learn to open my eyes to see the gifts God gives me every single day? Or will I miss them because I’m too wrapped up in myself or anything else?
“The music is all around us — all you have to do… is listen.”
Some gifts that I have seen recently:
- My husband bringing me the first rose of the season from our garden
- A gorgeous spring sunrise
- My youngest nephew’s first steps
- The calm, soothing rhythm of crocheting
- Daffodils springing up and blooming before I even noticed them
What ordinary magic have you found in your life lately? Come tell me in the comments!