AUGUST RUSH: August Rush is a 2007 drama film directed by Kirsten Sheridan and written by Paul Castro, Nick Castle, and James V. Hart, and produced by Richard Barton Lewis. Rated PG for some thematic elements, mild violence and language.
PLOT: It is 1995. Lyla Novacek (Keri Russel) is a cellist in an orchestra under strict rule of her father (William Sadler). Louis Connelly (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) is the lead singer of The Connelly Brothers. Lyla and Louis have a chance meeting during a party and sleep together while a man plays his harmonica down on the street. Lyla returns to her angered father and head back to Chicago, finding that she is now pregnant with Louis's son. After an argument with her father, she runs out into the street and is struck by a car. She gives birth prematurely and her father quickly puts her son up for adoption. Louis continues waiting for Lyla in New York and eventually gives up.
Eleven years later, Evan (Freddie Highmore) is living in an orphanage outside of the city. Evan has the ability to hear music wherever he is. He meets with Richard Jefferies, a social worker (Terrence Howard) who gives Evan his card, and Evan soon runs away to New York City to find his family.
Louis now lives in San Francisco and has since left his band. He meets one of his former bandmates and is invited to his birthday party. Louis is hesitant because he has not spoken to his brother Marshall (Alex O'Loughlin) since the fallout. He ultimately chooses to go. At the party though, his brother plays clips of the band performing, Louis confronts his brother, resulting in a mini-fight and his girlfriend (who was not aware he was a musician) breaks up with him and leaves.
Lyla lives in Chicago and also gave up music. Her friend encourages her to rejoin the Symphony, but Lyla rejects. She is called to her father's deathbed and he admits to her that he put the child up for adoption and is somewhere in New York.
Meanwhile, Evan is taken in by Wizard (Robin Williams), a homeless musician who believes in his art. Evan tries playing the guitar, and is so good that Wizard gives him his old spot in Central Park and his guitar, which he beforehand gave to Arthur (Leon Thomas III). The old theatre they are living in is raided by the police. Wizard distracts them and allows Evan (who is now called August Rush) to escape. He takes refuge in a church where the kindly pastor (Mykelti Williamson) notices his gift and enrolls August in Juilliard School.
Lyla is also in New York, deciding to participate in the Symphony as well as look for her lost son. Richard, who was also looking for Evan, helps her identify her child and posts a bulletin for his finding.
Louis, upon looking through old items, decides to reconnect with Lyla and flies out to Chicago to find her. He waits for several hours and when he asks one of the occupants of her apartment where Lyla was, the woman mistakes Lyla for her friend and says she's on her honeymoon in New York. Louis decides to go to New York anyway and perform with his old band.
August proves himself at Juilliard and is even given his own performance at the same Symphony that Lyla is performing in. But Wizard intrudes during a rehearsal and pulls August out of the school and puts him back on the streets performing for him. August also meets Louis, who is wandering through the park and they play together. August tells him of his dilemma and Louis tells him to do what he wants to do.
It is now the day of the Symphony and Louis's comeback to singing. August is still not being allowed to attend the event. August decides to leave Wizard and go anyway, with some help from Arthur, who also rebels against Wizard. August flees through the subway system and towards the Symphony.
Louis is heading towards the airport when he notices Lyla's name on a banner for the Symphony. He exits his vehicle and begins running towards the park. August arrives in time to perform his rhapsody and so does Richard (who discovers Evan and August are the same person). Lyla begins walking away from the park, but is attracted back towards the event. Louis arrives at the park and spots Lyla amongst the crowd and reunites with Lyla. August finishes his rhapsody and looks down and smiles at Lyla and Louis, realizing that they are his parents. Wizard is last seen playing his harmonica in the subway. The film concludes with August saying "The music is all around us, all you have to do is listen."