24 January 2017

Across the Universe

Across the Universe 2007
  • Director: Julie Taymor
  • Based on book: no
  • Cast: Evan Rachel Wood, Jim Sturgess, Joe Anderson, Dana Fuchs, Martin Luther McCoy, T.V. Carpio, Joe Cocker, Bono, Eddie Izzard
  • Personal “oh yeah him/her” reaction, i.e. have seen this actor in:
    • Evan Rachel Wood – The Wrestler
    • Jim Sturgess – Cloud Atlas, The Other Boleyn Girl
    • Joe Anderson – Control, Becoming Jane, Copying Beethoven
    • Eddie Izzard – Valkyria, Romance & Cigarettes, Velvet Goldmine, his shows
  • Why? The Beatles!
  • Seen: 3-4 times previously. Now: 14 January 2017      

       A story woven together from the lyrics of Beatle songs – why didn’t I think of that? Never mind. Taymor did it and what a film it is. Jude, from Liverpool, goes to the US to find his father and finds himself involved in the anti-war movement. There’s a love story as well, surprise, surprise, with Lucy. It’s a good story with a nice mix of Liverpudlian working class and New England Ivy League and Greenwich Village in the 60’s but let’s get to the songs, just a few of the film’s best bits:
  • ‘Let It Be’ sung by a black kid in the midst of the Detroit race riots
  • Joe Cocker and the people of NY doing ‘Come Together’ as Jojo arrives in the city
  • Prudence coming through the bathroom window
  • ‘I Want You’ by the recruiting machine/soldiers out to get Max
  • ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ with strawberry bombs in Vietnam
  • ‘Oh Darling’ as Sadie and Joho break up
  • ‘Happiness is a Warm Gun’ with a ward of wounded and dying soldiers and a madly dancing priest
  • ‘All You Need Is Love’ on the roof top.

       The psychedelic trips go on too long (though Eddie Izzard as Mr Kite is fun) and Wood is too bland and anonymous to be interesting as Lucy.
       Like Taymor’s two Shakespeare films this one is flawed but powerful and clever. I already want to see it again.
4 ½  * of 5   

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