More mush than rush, this saccharine fable stars Freddie Highmore (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) as an orphaned musical prodigy who's convinced the parents he never knew are still alive. He heads to New York, where his path mystically crisscrosses those of his classical cellist mom (Keri Russell) and Irish rocker dad (Jonathan Rhys Meyers), but their reunion is blocked at every turn by the Wizard (Robin Williams), a self-styled impresario who turns runaways into street musicians. Williams' overacting, Russell's pinched melancholy, and Highmore's unflagging chirpiness would be trying enough on their own, but the convoluted story, with its pileup of obstacles and coincidences, makes this sophomore effort by director Kirsten Sheridan (Disco Pigs) an exercise in dissonance (100 min., 2007).
Director: Kirsten Sheridan
Writer: Nick Castle & Paul Castro
Producer: Miky Lee & Ralph Kamp
Cast: Freddie Highmore, Keri Russell, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Robin Williams, Terrence Howard, Jamia Simone Nash, William Sadler, Alex O'Laughlin, Aaron Staton and Jamie O'Keefe