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Evan/August Rush learns to play the guitar for the first timeWhen our lives are rhythmically in tune with God, the music of our lives is played out to anyone around us who cares to listen. Maxwell “Wizard” Wallace (Robin Williams) says to young August Rush (Freddie Highmore), “[Music] is God’s reminder that there’s something bigger than all of us.”

August Rush grew up in a boys home, known as Evan Taylor. Separated from his mother, Lyla Novacek (Keri Russell), at birth by her over-protective father, both desperately wanted to know the other existed. Living a life of feigned existence and separation, neither pursued their shared passion for music. But an innate sense brought them back to music.

Evan begins the movie in a field, swaying in rhythm with the music of the wind saying, “I believe in music, the way that some people believe in fairy tales. What I hear came from my mother and father, once upon a time.” The movie also follows his father, Louis Connelly (Jonathan Rhys Meyers), working as a West Coast businessman, also avoiding his former life as lead singer of a band.

After Richard Jeffries (Terrence Howard) from the Department of Child Services checks in with Evan and the boys at the home, Evan decides that now is the time to find his mother. He sets off for New York City with nothing but the music of his soul.

When Evan first meets “Wizard,” he picks up a guitar for the first time and instantly shows off his musical prowess. “Wizard” wants to give Evan a new name, August Rush, and give him a platform to share his music. Sounds a bit like the Saul-to-Paul transformation in the New Testament.

August Rush and his father play dueling guitarsAfter police raid “Wizard’s” hangout, August is left wandering the streets of New York. He hears music coming from a church and wanders in to find a gospel choir in the midst of their practice. He finds Hope (Jamia Simone Nash), a young girl in the choir, who gives him a place to sleep, teaches him about music and introduces August to the minister.

Up to this point, Evan’s music came from the heart. He didn’t have a process or a structure or rules. His music came out of a childlike innocence, innocent and pure. Sitting at a piano in the church, Hope asks him, “Do you know your notes?” August is caught off guard: “I’ve never seen them like that before.” A childlike faith can be caught off guard in the same way when introduced to rules and regulations of religion.

August’s musical prowess took the minister’s breath away, and the minister found a way for August to attend Julliard. Learning how to write music, he composes a full-scale rhapsody which his professor discovers. The professor passes the rhapsody onto the Dean (Marian Seldes). She called August into a board meeting, where they informed August that they wanted the New York Philharmonic to play his rhapsody:

August: How many people will hear it?
The Dean: It will be performed in Central Park, on the Great Lawn.
August: A hundred?
The Dean: Much more. Thousands.
August: OK, I need to play it to a lot of people. Lots and lots.

Even with this newfound knowledge about music, August has not lost his passion and excitement. He wants nothing more than to share the music of his life with as many people as he can. What if people of faith lived with that same eagerness to share their passion?

August and the Wizard in the park“Wizard” constantly reminds August of the importance of his music, its connection to his heart and the world around him: “You gotta love music more than you love food, more than your life and more than yourself...You know what music is? A harmonic connection between all human beings.” Our spirituality longs to be number one and that “music” in our lives will connect us to the world around us.

August asks “Wizard” where the music comes from: “I think it comes from all around you, really. It comes through us, some of us. It’s invisible, but you feel it.” August asks, “So only some of us can hear it?” and “Wizard” responds: “Only some of us are listening.”

Are you listening to the music this Christmas season? August found the music, lived the music and shared the music.

The music is all around us. All you have to do is listen.” - August

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