Saturday, October 20, 2007

"Across The Universe"

We went and saw Julie Taymor's 60s-fantasia, "Across the Universe," last night and really dug it. In case you haven't heard of it, the film uses 31 Beatles tunes as the connective tissue in a generational story about the 60s, a la "Moulin Rouge." You have to allow yourself to be open to the film (I suspect many will cynically dismiss it as cheesy), but if you are, it is hard not to fall in love with it. Taymor's creative vision is intoxicating in many spots. In addition to music, she uses animation and puppetry to great effect to touch on youth culture, Vietnam, anti-war activism, civil rights, LSD, music, radicalism, repression, etc. Bono makes a fun appearance as "Dr Robert" - actually, he is playing Ken Kesey! - and sings "I Am the Walrus" after everyone drinks LSD-laced kool-aid at a party. Really trippy... Selma Hayek, Joe Cocker and others make guest appearances, as well.

Here's the trailer:

Like my mom, Drea can fall asleep in the best film... shortly after the opening credits. As an indication of how interesting and groovy this film is when viewed in the right frame of mind, Drea actually stayed riveted for the entire 2:05!

Here is the NYTimes review, which I think is fair-minded:
Stephen Holden, "Lovers in the 60s Take Magical Mystery Tour"

As the reviewer wrote,
"Somewhere around its midpoint, 'Across the Universe' captured my heart, and I realized that falling in love with a movie is like falling in love with another person. Imperfections, however glaring, become endearing quirks once you’ve tumbled."

He goes on,
"Most of the historical events are lightly fictionalized in a movie that maintains only the fuzziest of timelines. Its 33 Beatles songs (two without words) have been re-recorded and sung by the actors. Yet “Across the Universe” feels emotionally true both to the Beatles, whose music today seems to exist outside of time, and to the decade it remembers. Smart, uncluttered musical arrangements help reposition the songs to address the situation at hand. As a result, music that has congealed in collective memory — especially the clever, breezy early Beatles songs — emerges refreshed."

Check it out! If you've seen it, what did YOU think?


  1. I went and saw this on a date this weekend with my fabulous boyfriend and I would say this is my favorite movie this year. GO SEE IT!!!!!

  2. And yes, I did stay awake for the ENTIRE movie! :)

  3. This is the best movie I've seen in my life...