This isn’t the first film to use the Lennon/McCartney songbook as the basis for a narrative. Let’s not forget 1978’s Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band starring Peter Frampton, the Bee Gees and such other musical luminaries as Steve Martin and George Burns. On second thought, let’s forget it. “Across the Universe” tells the love story of Jude (Jim Sturgess), a dockworker from Liverpool, and Lucy (Evan Rachel Wood), the affluent American girl he falls for, set amidst the political events and social upheaval of the 1960s. The music is more than familiar to anyone with a radio. But director Julie Taymor switches it up in some interesting and surprising ways. When you hear Prudence (T.V. Carpio) sing “I Want to Hold Your Hand” as a wistful ballad about her unprofessed love for a fellow cheerleader, you know you’re in for something different. The art direction and staging are equally creative. The draft office and Vietnam sequences are appropriately trippy. So while I might have tweeted Characters who express themselves in Beatles tunes prove that all you need is love & a really great soundtrack. 8.5 (out of 10) “Across the Universe” delivers much more than just that.
"Across the Universe"
Length: 133 minutes
Cast: Evan Rachel Wood, T.V. Carpio, Dana Fuchs, Jim Sturgess
Director: Julie Taymor
Genre(s): Romance, Period, Political