August Rush (PG)

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The Independent Culture

It would be hard to believe that someone thought this abysmal Celtic twaddle was a good idea if we didn't have the evidence of director Kirsten Sheridan's previous scriptwriting credit on her father Jim's In America. Freddie Highmore, the go-to kid for waifish loneliness, plays an orphan who's discovered as a musical prodigy and then exploited by the wicked "Wizard", a street hustler played by Robin Williams as part-Fagin, part-Bono (and wholly ridiculous).

Meanwhile, star-crossed lovers Jonathan Rhys-Meyers (Irish rock guitarist) and Keri Russell (classical cellist) reflect on their one-night stand of 12 years ago and wonder if there's a kid out there trying to find them... Freddie, however, is preparing to conduct the New York Phil on his own "August Rhapsody". He's 12! The film keeps protesting its own soulfulness, but you'd trade all that just for one honest bit of life.