Lyla Novacek (Russell) is a Juilliard-trained cellist with a controlling, overbearing father who is none too pleased that his daughter has become pregnant from a one-night stand with rock musician Louis Connelly (Rhys Meyers). When Lyla delivers a baby boy, her father arranges for the child to be put up for adoption, convincing poor Lyla that her baby has died. Eleven-year-old Evan Taylor (Highmore) has lived in an orphange since birth, but he is convinced that his parents will find him somehow, through a shared love of music. Evan runs away to New York and with the help of a street musician named Wizard (Williams) changes his name to August Rush. August sets out to find his parents by performing music in front as many people as he can. (Stacey Pendry)
Special features include seven additional scenes.
The anamorphically enhanced 2.36:1 DVD features solid black levels with good shadow delineation. Color fidelity seems natural, although fleshtones can look a touch too pink. Details are not resolved as well as in the best releases, but the image doesn't look soft. Edge enhancement is not noticeable, but compression artifacts can be somewhat distracting at times. The VC-1-encoded Blu-ray Disc has many of the same qualities of the DVD, with solid blacks and good shadow delineation. Fleshtones are still somewhat too pink, and details are not quite as well resolved as the best high-definition releases. The picture is fairly good though. (Danny Richelieu)
The Dolby® Digital 5.1-channel soundtrack has limited range, with little distinction between the loudest and softest aspects of the recording. The mix provides a broad front stage with adequate surround envelopment, but the front and rear stages rarely mesh into a coherent soundstage. Dialogue sounds natural, although it can be somewhat forward sounding at times. The Dolby TrueHD 5.1-channel lossless encoding features better fluidity than the DVD's lossy encoding, but the problems with the mix are still audible. Dynamic range is somewhat limited as well. (Danny Richelieu)