Across the Universe
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Across the Universe, from director Julie Taymor, is a revolutionary rock musical that re-imagines America in the turbulent late-1960s, a time when battle lines were being drawn at home and abroad. When young dockworker Jude (Jim Sturgess) leaves Liverpool to find his estranged father in America, he is swept up by the waves of change that are reshaping the nation. Jude falls in love with Lucy (Evan Rachel Wood), a rich but sheltered American girl who joins the growing anti-war movement in New York's Greenwich Village. As the body count in Vietnam rises, political tensions at home spiral out of control and the star-crossed lovers find themselves in a psychedelic world gone mad. With a cameo by Bono, Across the Universe is "the kind of movie you watch again, like listening to a favorite album." (Roger Ebert, CHICAGO SUN-TIMES)
Set in America during the Vietnam War, Across the Universe is a powerful love story set against a backdrop of political and social unrest: it's a story of soul-searching, self-doubt, and individual powerlessness cleverly conveyed through a multitude of Beatles songs. Like young adults all across America during the 1960's, Jude (Jim Sturgess), Lucy (Evan Rachel Wood), Max (Joe Anderson), Sadie (Dana Fuchs), Prudence (T.V. Carpio), and JoJo (Martin Luther) are in turmoil over the war; questioning their individual roles in the war effort and struggling to find a way to hold true to their beliefs while making a difference in the world. While love proves a powerful uniting force, its limitations become clear as relationships are strained and broken over individual perceptions of responsibility to cause and country. A fairly bizarre juxtaposition of extremely stylized, almost hallucinogenic scenes of swirling colors and reflections, highly choreographed dance segments, seemingly commonplace character interaction, and emotionally packed close-up footage of characters lost in contemplative song, this film imparts a good sense of the confusion and passion of the time and is at once powerful, invigorating, and disturbing. The film runs a bit long at 2-hours 11-minutes and several segments drag noticeably thanks to some incredibly slow song tempos. Warning: this production may change how you think about a favorite Beatles song forever. --Tami Horiuchi
Beyond Across the Universe
Two-disc Special Edition
The Deluxe Soundtrack
Beatles audio CD
Stills from Across the Universe (click for larger image)
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I am a filmmaker, a writer, a musician, and an actor; this film is brilliant on all fronts. The storytelling, the cinematography, the acting, the SINGING, everything is nearly flawless.
The way she (Julie Taymor) interpreted the songs and wove them together is truly a feat of creativity. When explaining this movie to someone, your first thought may be to say "it's about The Beatles", but it is much more than that. Aside from being a good little love story, it is a very effective "documentary" of the 1960's. I've obviously seen other films that took place in this time period, but this one leaves me feeling as though I have really experienced it.
All this being said, this movie is not for everyone. I would not recommend it to everyone I know. It does get pretty bizarre through the middle, and I know many people who just couldn't get far enough out or the left side of their brain to enjoy it.
Thank you, Julie Taymor, for this incredibly unique masterpiece of art.
Most recent customer reviews
Character development is remarkable.
Definitely one of the better movies that I have come across in a few...Read more