Bil’s rating (out of 5): B
USA, 2007. Warner Bros., Southpaw Entertainment, CJ Entertainment. Story by Paul Castro, Nick Castle, Screenplay by Nick Castle, James V. Hart. Cinematography by John Mathieson. Produced by Richard Baron Lewis. Music by Mark Mancina. Production Design by Michael Shaw. Costume Design by Frank L. Fleming. Film Editing by William Steinkamp.
Painfully melodramatic bullshit about a little boy (Freddie Highmore) who is the love child of a rock musician (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) and a classical cellist (Keri Russell) and is being raised in an orphanage. He is determined to be reunited with his parents despite the fact that they never saw each other again after conceiving him, nor do either of them even know of his present location. He makes it to New York where he is placed under the wing of a Fagan-esque stranger (Robin Williams) before his talents are discovered and he makes it to the big time in classical music.
The audience would find his plight more sympathetic if he didn’t go into a comatose reverie and whisper mumbo jumbo about feeling music in the air every time a well-meaning adult asked him a reasonable question about himself. Kirsten Sheridan, daughter of Jim, takes over the director’s chair of this hopelessly pretentious and annoying film: everything that was charming and spontaneous about In America, which she co-wrote with her father and sister Naomi, is replaced here with overly-photographed montages and Highmore’s ridiculously bad acting (whispering all the time does not make you seem more soulful than the rest of us).
The soundtrack, which includes the Oscar-nominated song “Raise It Up”, is the film’s only saving grace, but one need not sit through this drab mushiness in order to enjoy it.
Academy Award Nomination: Best Original Song (“Raise It Up”)