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Film Critics: Today, December 13, winners from Dallas ForthWorthFCA, ChicagoFCA and Film Comment Magazine. Nominations from HoustonFCS, PhoenixCC. PhoenixFCS.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Across The Universe


The most outstanding “trip” I have had since a long (very long) time ago. Gee I was so “high” I could hardly stay still. Actually not a special reaction if you consider that this Julie Taymor film is about the ‘60’s, about magnificent, superb and outstanding Beatles songs and about war.

The movie has a story about how six people coming from different parts and with different backgrounds finds each other in New York, live together in a typical ‘60s apartment, two of them fall in love while the others have their own dramas. But the story is the least important element of this movie, that honestly even when the songs are totally integrated to the story, I could have had the movie without a clear narrative and enjoy it the same, if not more.

This movie is the most amazing tribute to The Beatles that includes not only their songs but also many references to their songs lyrics and other things like for example the lead characters names Lucy (Evan Rachel Wood), Jude (Jim Sturgess), Max or Maxwell (Joe Anderson), Sadie (Dana Fuchs), JoJo (Martin Luther) and Prudence (T.V. Carpio playing a lesbian in the closet and coming out-of-the-closet –and is literal in the song "Dear Prudence" sequence-) that all are characters in Beatles songs. And includes some too obvious references to other immortal celebrities of those times: Jimmy Hendrix and Janis Joplin, as JoJo and Sadie characters are definitively inspired by them.

As a movie has outstanding cinematography with some psychedelic scenes that will blow your mind and get you really “high” just like the videos and home made special effects that where so much in vogue in those days. Gee, that was outstanding!

By now you realize that I loved the movie, loved the songs that brought back so many memories and have to admit that I liked the new arrangements for the songs that were actually sung by the actors, so now you know that Evan Rachel Wood can sing very acceptable.

Can’t forget to mention the great cameos by Joe Cocker (love him!), Bono, Eddie Izzard in an visually outstanding sequence with the song “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite" and not surprisingly Selma Hayek (remember Taymor’s Frida?) playing thanks to digital effects five separate nurses in the “Hapiness is a Warm Gun” sequence.

There is one thing I have to do. I have to dearly and truly thank Julie Taymor for including my favorite Beatles song, for that I will always watch her movies. Even if the original sequence was filmed with "Yesterday", the released version has the unbelievable good "Blackbird". On top of that my second favorite song "Hey Jude" followed. It was a very emotional moment for me.

This doesn’t sound like a review at all and is because the movie was an emotional bomb that exploded and torn apart every sensible piece of me, so if you have good and "groovy" memories from those days I suggest you to be really prepared to go on a heavy trip down memory lane.

Anyway, the movie is not for all audiences as is really crazy, but I do recommend it to Beatles fans that really lived the ‘60s, to those that enjoy musicals (some consider the movie as a hybrid child of Hair and Moulin Rouge and perhaps they’re right) and to those that dare to see an unusual anti war movie that shows how history repeats itself. But chances are -accordingly to what I read- that half of you will love it and half will hate it, so go give it a try at your own risk.

Big Enjoy!!!

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