Across the UniverseOctober 12, 2007
The music of the Beatles and the Vietnam War form the backdrop for the romance between an upper-class American girl and a poor Liverpudlian artist.
Release Year: 2007
Rating: 7.4/10 (57,092 voted)
Critic's Score: 56/100
Stars: Evan Rachel Wood, Jim Sturgess, Joe Anderson
Across The Universe is a fictional love story set in the 1960s amid the turbulent years of anti-war protest, the struggle for free speech and civil rights, mind exploration and rock and roll. At once gritty, whimsical and highly theatrical, the story moves from high schools and universities in Massachusetts, Princeton and Ohio to the Lower East Side of Manhattan, the Detroit riots, Vietnam and the dockyards of Liverpool. A combination of live action and animation, the film is paired with many songs by
Writers: Dick Clement, Ian La Frenais
Evan Rachel Wood
(as Martin Luther McCoy)
Jude's Liverpool Girlfriend
Martha Feeny – Jude's Mother
Wesley 'Wes' Huber – Jude's Father
Within the lyrics of the world's most famous songs, lives a story that has never been told. Until now.
Release Date: 12 October 2007
Filming Locations: Armour-Stiner House, Irvington, New York, USA
Box Office Details
Opening Weekend: $667,784
(16 September 2007)
Did You Know?
When Sadie plays at the Fillmore, she is billed as Sadie and the Po Boys, a reference to the Creedence Clearwater Revival album "Willie and the Poor Boys."
Military deaths are reported to family by two officers, one of which is a Chaplain. The personnel that tell Daniel's mother of his death are both Sergeants.
Is there anybody going to listen to my story all about the girl who came to stay? She's the kind of girl you want so much, it makes you sorry. Still, you don't regret a single day. Aw, girl. Girl…
Flawed movie, but nevertheless breathtaking
I saw a sold-out opening night screening of "Across the Universe" last
night with a group of my friends who had really been looking forward to
it. Many of them were extremely disappointed, while in the critical
world, Roger Ebert and the New York Times loved it. Because the film
was so highly anticipated, and a number of people have asked me how I
liked it, I'm writing this review in an attempt to express why the
movie is so divisive. I'm not going to talk about plot, or describe any
of the numbers. If you're interested in seeing the movie, they'll be
more enjoyable if they're unexpected.
It's a bizarre and beautiful movie musical, almost a music video at
times, that uses thirty- three of The Beatles' songs and director Julie
Taymor's unique visual style to illustrate both a personal love story
and the overall conflict in the sixties. The movie is incredibly
original and ambitious, and therefore its failings are as dramatic as
its successes. Both stem from the same source: Julie Taymor's
self-indulgence. That's nothing new to her movies, "Frida" and "Titus"
have the same problem, but in a movie stripped of traditional
narrative, it's glaringly obvious. Some songs are impeccably chosen and
staged with great creativity, but others are too obvious, or
thematically forced so Taymor can cram in another song and stunning
For the first half of the movie, I was frequently divided. One
innovative sequence would really pull me into the style, then a forced
number or awkward staging would distance me again. When an obvious,
recognizable number began, I was torn between a cynical impulse to roll
my eyes and an almost exhilarated impulse to laugh and applaud.
"Across the Universe" is a mess. There's no denying that. It is poorly
paced and badly structured, and at times its feather-light plot and
contrived or obligatory numbers become tedious. But at one point, about
halfway through, I decided just to go along for the ride. I delighted
in every brash, bold choice, whether it worked or not. I let the
poignant moments move me, whether or not I intellectually felt that
they were contrived.
The Beatles' music had a huge effect on me; from the fateful day that
my friend accidentally copied the first three tracks of "Revolver" onto
my computer, a love affair was born. Their songs are inexorably tied to
memories beautiful and horrible scattered all over my life, and as I
grow older, I'm constantly discovering new, deeper resonances in their
familiar refrains. Even when the context was vague or stretched, the
film's reinterpreting and revealing new facets of these songs seemed to
serve as a tribute to their breadth and greatness. Taymor's damning
depiction of the horrors of war, and lyrical portrait of young,
idealistic love are both painfully expressive and unique, and simply
took my breath away. By the film's shamelessly corny close, I realized
that I had just had a genuine cinematic experience. For all the movies
that I watch, that's incredibly rare.
In his review in the New York Times, Stephen Holden writes, "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." I could laughingly list this movie's flaws from now
till next week, but I sort of fell in love with its sheer audacity. You
might not. It's extremely naïve, and thematically simple, and you could
find that endearing or irritating. You may love it, or you may hate it,
but you're going to feel something. This movie will not change your
life; don't expect it to. But if you let your criticism fade to the
background, and abandon yourself to Taymor's passionate fervor, you may
have a pretty amazing experience.