Across the Universe (2007)

across the universe poster 2007 movie
6.5 Overall Score
Story: 4/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 7/10

Some interesting and good remixes of Beatles songs

Seems desperately creative, weak story

 
Movie Info

Movie Name:  Across the Universe

Studio:  Columbia Pictures

Genre(s):  Musical/Romance/Drama

Release Date(s):  September 10, 2007 (Toronto International Film Festival)/September 14, 2007 (US)

MPAA Rating:  PG-13

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Across the Universe wants you! (to feel forced sentimentality)

Jude (Jim Sturgess) has headed to America to find his father who left before he was born.  There he meets Max (Joe Anderson) and his sister Lucy (Evan Rachel Wood) and begins a new adventure.  As the war in Vietnam rages, Lucy joins the fight against Vietnam as Max is pulled into the war.  Jude and Max find a home with Sadie (Dana Fuchs) who also houses a young lesbian girl named Prudence (T.V. Carpio) trying to find her place in the world.  Through their struggles, Jude finds himself falling in love with Lucy….but can their love endure the pressures of their worlds?

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Bono!

Directed by Julie Taymor, Across the Universe is a musical based around the music of The Beatles.  The film was released to a lot of fanfare and approval by the surviving Beatles.  The movie received an Oscar Nomination for Best Costume Design.

I love The Beatles and really enjoy their music.  I am not in love with forced sentimentality and nostalgia.  Here the two meet and unfortunately, the forced nostalgia wins out over the music.

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This is awesome and we aren’t even stoned!

The story for Across the Universe is written like a bunch of people who didn’t live through the period and just enjoyed watching Forrest Gump and The Wonder Years wrote the script.  The movie is overloaded with clichés that almost seem to be in there to force the audience to turn to each other wink and say that it references ______ cultural event.  It is cheesy and really forced.  I don’t need every counter-culture event that happened in the ’60s to happen to these people to get that it is set in the ’60s or enjoy it.

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…and now we’re Monty Python

The acting on the other hand is pretty decent.  The characters do a good job pulling their stereotypical, one-dimensional characters to life.  Jim Sturgess is good as Jude, and Evan Rachel Wood is strong as his love interest Lucy.  I like Dana Fuchs as the saucy Sadie (who’s a stand for a Janis Joplin character), but Mart Luther McCoy as Jojo (who is a stand in for a Hendricks character) seems inserted too late in the story to mesh with the other characters.  Joe Anderson is nice as the obligatory screwed up Vietnam character.  The movie also features appearances by Dylan Baker, Eddie Izzard, Bono, Salma Hayek, and Joe Cocker.

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One of the songs that actually feels original

The visuals for the movie are good but also go over the top far too often.  The look, the style, and feel of the movie just feels like one music video after the other.  What does work is  the film’s music.  I’m not saying that every mix of the movie’s music work, but there are some very good interpretations of The Beatles’ music like “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” and “Dear Prudence” (a Beatles song that I never particularly liked).

Across the Universe is a miss for me, but a near miss.  The attempts to woo the audience are too hard and too desperate.  The movie has moments of fun, but you know where the story is going at every predictable turn…it just is a squandered attempt at a musical.

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Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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