Saturday, December 8, 2007

Civil Procedure Final and Movie Review: August Rush

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This morning, I woke up with a queasy feeling in my stomach. I rolled over and found my husband laying next to me, under the influence of his own blissful awakening moments.

"Boo?" (I call him that. He calls me that. It's our thing.)


"Can you do me a favor?"


"If I turn over, can you just wrap your arms around me and hold me for awhile?"


We laid there in bed this morning like that for a good fifteen minutes, and he held me tight, giving me the comfort I needed to get through the first part of my day today. After a bit, the girl came in and curled up next to me, completing the little family sandwich we had going in our bed.

All too soon, we disengaged, and I got up, showered, and headed out the door to school. They gave me good luck hugs and kisses, and soon enough I was ensconced with a few classmates at a table in the student lounge, re-reviewing the finer points of civil procedure, re-annotating my purple softcover version of the Federal Rules, making bets on what we'd be tested on and what would likely fall by the wayside.

We headed upstairs to our exam rooms around 1:30, nervously chatting, firing up laptops, settling into the exam room. Kate was nice enough to bring earplugs so that the clacking of keyboards could be blocked out- and I availed myself of them.

Three hours later, we walked out, intellectually spent, grateful to have two exams done and two more to go. About a dozen of us met up at Old Chicago for a drink and dinner, and though we dissected the test more than we should have, we also talked about various and sundry other topics, enjoyed each other's company, and blew off just a little steam. Grades won't be posted for at least three weeks- which is sheer torture for me- I just want to know how I've done! My civ pro casebook has been safely stowed on my bookshelf until January.

After dinner, Kate and I went to the movies and saw August Rush. Man, that Freddie Highmore- he's got Haley Joel Osment beat by a mile in terms of acting chops. I hope he gets an Oscar nod for this one. The movie has been met with mixed reviews, mostly because it is a bit sappy and predictable. However, I can see the filmmaker's point of view.

August Rush is a fairy tale. The story is about music, and so it is light on dialogue and heavy on score- and there are some absolutely lovely musical moments in the movie. I found myself breathless in places, simply over the fantastic use of sound as emotion.

In it's simplest form, August Rush is a retelling of Oliver Twist, down to the Fagan-like character known as the Wizard, played by Robin Williams in aging rock-n-roll garb- think U2 meets Ozzy Osbourne meets Tim McGraw, age 50. The Wizard enchants Highmore's character, and renames him August Rush, planning to use him to his own advantage. August is an orphan, taken away from his mother (Keri Russell) at birth because her own father had plans for her that did not include motherhood. His father doesn't know he exists until the end of the movie.

I especially enjoyed Jonathan Rhys-Meyers in this movie as August's father, an Irish rocker with a broken heart. He's in full force here, Irish brogue and all. If he does his own singing in this movie, he ought to have his own band.

August Rush is subtle and intelligent- there is clear motivation from the characters as to their actions, but we don't need heavy-handed dialogue or flashback scenes to pick up what the filmmaker was laying down. The director and the screenwriter give the audience the benefit of the doubt, leaving the details to our imagination. In my humble opinion, the ending was brilliant, but as always, you'll have to see it for yourself. And do go see it, if you are in the mood to suspend your disbelief for a retold Dickensian fairy tale.

1 comment:

LisaMM said...

August Rush sounds great. I think we'll see it this week with the kids!