Sunday, September 20, 2009


It's been a while since I recorded ACROSS THE UNIVERSE on my DVR, and even longer since it came out, so I'm way behind on reviewing this, but it's pretty much a complete mess. I love Julie Taymor, especially TITUS and FRIDA (maybe she should stick to five-letter titles), but this is a misfire.

One could argue that this should have been easy with all the Beatles music, but the truth is that Beatles covers are very hard to pull off, and this movie supports that. A much bigger problem than the music is the story itself, which is maudlin and portentous. The dialogue scenes are so bad, it's like they cut the dialogue scenes out of a porno and stuck them in here. The musical sequences are better, but the best ones happen in the second half of the film, long after I had lost interest in anything going on.

Early on the visual design is not very creative, but again it gets better later on. Perhaps the most inspired sequence turns "I Want You" into an army recruiting song with robot-like automatons dancing in army uniforms.

I can't recommend this.

1 comment:

Marcelo Teson said...

I actually thought the first half of the movie was much more tolerable, because it was based on the characters and the love triangle and not on making these kids cardboard symbols for a generation.

And some of the covers are pretty great. I especially like the versions of "I've Just Seen a Face" and "With a Little Help of my Friends."

But the film to me falls completely apart in the second half. By the time the movie was in its final song I was done with the characters, the story, and the conceit.