Friday, June 22, 2012

Movie Time! 'Across the Universe'

"An American girl (Evan Rachel Wood) and a British lad (Jim Sturgess) fall in love amid the social and political upheaval of the 1960s in this movie musical from director Julie Taymor that features classic Beatles songs and a mix of live action and animation.  Or an excursion to America, Liverpool dock worker Jude (Sturgess) falls for Lucy (Wood).  But when Lucy's brother (Joe Anderson) is drafted, Jude and Lucy take a stand as anti-war activists."

The soundtrack to the Beatles fanatic's life!

I'm such a fan of this movie.  Where do I start?

I loved that the characters were given names from some of the Beatles' songs ("Hey Jude," "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds," "Sexy Sadie," "Dear Prudence," etc.).  It was a really neat touch.

The music.  It's my belief that even if you're a Beatles purist and you can't appreciate anything but the original version of the various songs, you'll find at least one song in this movie where you can appreciate if not prefer the cover to the original.  The singing was phenomenal-- and not all of the actors had sung in this kind of setting before.  I think Evan Rachel Wood and Jim Sturgess were in bands or some kind of musical group before, but as far as having sung in big production musical or movie musicals, there was little to no experience.

The story.  I thought it was an interesting way to pull the songs together and relate them to one another.  Towards the middle, when the sixties were being represented, things became quite garbled and while most viewers will probably think, "What the...?" (I was among those viewers) everything is so visually pleasing that even if the plot doesn't make a lot of sense, this hot mess on screen beyond the veil of drug use is really, really beautiful.  And once more, the songs are good.

This movie is good for those who like musicals, are any level of a Beatles enthusiast, and enjoy being visually pleased.  A lot of effort was put into the making of this movie and in many ways, I think it really pulled through.

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