Happiness is a warm gun

14 Oct

Okay, so I thought that Hairspray had the best soundtrack of the year.

I was so wrong.

What soundtrack could beat that of “Across the Universe?” I mean, come on…it’s a whole mini-catalogue of Beatles tunes. I personally downloaded it yesterday, and after I listened to it about 3 times, I was like, “I have to go see this movie!” And this was one of a few movies that I actually said after I saw the preview “I need to see that.” This time, I actually did. Normally, I don’t follow up on my assertions.

I had high expectations for this movie, I’ll admit it. It didn’t let me down, let me tell you. Jim Sturgess, as Jude, was so endearing and strong. When he first met Max, he was the exact epitome of Jude–shy and wise at the same time. He and Lucy’s first attraction seemed so real, the over-exaggerated scenes didn’t even occur to me. My friend and I debating where his accent was from. At first, I was sure that it was pretty cockney English, but then w though Scottish, but I was right. I don’t know why we questioned, he had to be from Liverpool.

Max was my favorite character, by far, and Joe Anderson who played him did it so well. We never actually had heard of a Max in the Beatles’ catalogue, which differed from Jude, Lucy and Prudence. Their names came from songs. But Anderson had the most clever dialogue. “I’ve got a date with Uncle Sam.” And when he got angry at his family for fighting over his not going to college, it just cracked me up. He and Sturgess had such a real chemistry when they moved to New York into Sadie’s loft, that it made me want to move in with them as well.

Evan Rachel Wood surprised me, because she is only 20 years old. She was probably the worst singer of the bunch, but she still wasn’t. A lot of the people in the film, Dana Fuchs and Martin Luther McCoy were singers in their own lives. Sturgess and Anderson were quite gifted singers as well. Wood’s portrayal of Lucy was heartbreaking. When Daniel died, she, along with the amazing version of “Let it be” made my friend cry. Seriously. She was like, weeping. It made me sad as well, but I was too busy marveling at the music to be sad.

The music–that’s the most important thing. I don’t know how Julie Taymor got access to the whole catalogue to use for this film, but I’m so glad that she did. The way that she used the songs was so creative. I never would have thought that they were Beatles’ songs with how well they fit the story if I hadn’t already known that they were Beatles’ songs. I don’t think that anyone had ever written a movie around one particular band’s songs. It was completely new and different, and it worked. “Helter Skelter” and “Hey Jude” were my two favorite renditions, but just to say that they were all amazing. The entire feel of the movie felt a little like Moulin Rouge, with the songs fitting together with lots of people’s stories and crazy, drugged out sets and visuals. Mr. Kite was pretty cracked up if you ask me.

Speaking of Mr. Kite, there were more cameos in this movie than I’d seen in a long time. Joe Cocker, Bono, Eddie Izzard and Salma Hayek. You may not remember Salma Hayek’s cameo, because she didn’t even technically get to talk. She was the nurse in the military recovery hospital. The were five of her. Bono was my favorite cameo though, he was so different from the Bono that I know, level-headed and strong in his convictions. I’ve never seen Bono as a dope-smoking, cross-country-driving flower child.

I felt like this movie had a message. “All you need is love,” and I felt like it has such a resonance in these times that we are in now. Even though it was referring to the Vietnam War, it will always feel current. War is never an old issue. Taymor did such an amazing job using the Beatles’ catalogue to move us with the story of Jude and Lucy, and everything they had to overcome. To me, the entire movie felt like a revolution.

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So, I’ll be back soon to review “In Rainbows.” I’m sorry I haven’t gotten to it. Movies are easier to review, because the visuals are fresh in your brain. I’ll be back tomorrow.

❤ Abby

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