Three of us went to see August Rush the movie this evening. It was unexpectedly good. Kind of a realist fairytale about the magic of music, Cider House Rules meets Stardust. The actors for the three main characters were pretty new to me and so they were fresh: the kid (Freddie Highmore) and the star-crossed parents (Keri Russell and Jonathan Rhys Myers). But there's a supporting cast of more familiar faces like Robin Williams as a character reminscent of The Fisher King and Terrence Howard as a very likable social worker.
The film moves a bit fast in parts -- I would've liked to savor some of the kid's musical awakening a bit more as well as his teachers'/discovers' amazement. Maybe a book version could have dwelled on these more, but what couldn't happen in a book is the magical musical integration, like where the film shows cutbacks between his mother's solo cello and his father's Irish rock band singing and guitar while the two songs play simultaneously and are interwoven. It's a nice effect. So is turning the everyday motions of wind on wheat, and people and traffic in New York City first into a symphony of joy and then into a cacophony of confusion. It's cool.
Pleasantly Robin Williams doesn't steal the show; the music does. We're already talking about picking up the soundtrack.