August Rush

August RushAugust Rush
Available on DVD, HD DVD, and Blu-Ray
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Fuzzy and I haven’t yet invested in a plasma tv and a plasma mount with which to suspend it from the wall or ceiling, but that doesn’t stop us from enjoying movies. Recently, we rented August Rush because we never managed to see it in a theater, and we both loved it.

August Rush is an urban fantasy about a cellist and a rock star who meet, have a one-night stand, and are forced apart. She (the cellist) gets pregnant and her over protective father puts the baby up for adoption while she is in the hospital after an accident. Eleven years later, the child, a musical prodigy who has refused to leave an orphanage because he believes he can hear his parents, decides he has to find them.

We then follow the cellist as she searches for the child she never agreed to give up, and never knew was alive, the rock star, who is searching for the cellist, unaware there is a child, and the boy, Evan, who is given the name August Rush by a street musician who takes him in, and becomes the catalyst for the blooming of a musical prodigy.

Of course the movie ends with August conducting an urban rhapsody (symphony for orchestra and wind chimes) in Central Park, and there’s every sign his parents will find him, especially since he’s run into his father already, they just weren’t aware.

It’s a charming tale, with great music and wonderful performances from all three principals – Freddy Highmore (August) Keri Russell (Lyla, the cellist), and John Rhys Myers (as the rock star).

Goes well with a dreamsicle, and a hot summer night.

Becoming Jane with Anne Hathaway

Austen is pervading my life in roundabout ways, and while it’s nice to watch a movie without the work part of my brain peering at the cars to see what sort of dash kits might be installed, I feel like I’d be much better served by reading her actual work. To that end, I’m declaring April “Jane Austen Month” here at Bibliotica, and will be working my way through her…works.

Meanwhile, however, I’ve seen the movie Becoming Jane, which I found to be warm, funny, a little bit provocative, and really rather interesting, and not just for continuing the trend of American actresses playing British literary figures (c.f. Renee Zellwiger in Mrs. Potter, which I also found enchanting.)

I quite liked all the casting, especially James Cromwell and Julie Walters as Austen’s parents. Cromwell, especially, charmed me with his crusty affection.

My aunt suggests I should begin my own revisit with Miss Austen with Pride and Prejudice. What does everyone else think?

The Nanny Diaries

I just finished watching The Nanny Diaries, the movie based on the book by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Klaus, and starring Scarlett Johansson .

While I thought the book was delightful, and enjoyed the movie as much for the story as for the luxury homes in Manhattan where it all took place, I’m never entirely satisfied with book-to-movie translations, because when I read I’m immersed in a story, but when I’m watching something, I’m merely observing it.

That being said, Laura Linney as Mrs. X was fabulous, seemingly cold, but with vulnerability beneath the icy veneer, and Paul Giamatti as the mostly-absent Mr. X was simply perfect, and Donna Murphy was believable as Annie’s mother, even if her New Jersey accent was horribly inconsistent. Young Nicholas Art, as Greyer, the child in the film, was also very good – very much a natural kid.

Where the film excelled (other than at marketing CitiGroup, whose iconic red umbrella was used throughout the film) was in capturing the spirit of life in New York, where small kids really DO know whether something is on the East or West side, and how much there are distinct sub-cultures within it, changing from block to block.

If you haven’t read the book, see the movie first or you might be disappointed in the condensation of the story, but you will not be disappointed in the way they presented the spirit of the novel, or the city in which it all takes place.