Across The Universe (2007, Julie Taymor)

Wow, can’t believe I almost skipped this. A great movie, worth it just for the songs and the underwater photography. “Come Together”, “Because”, “I Want You”, “Happiness is a Warm Gun” and especially “Strawberry Fields Forever” were visual treats. The choreography is good without being dancey, and the look of the film (for the first half, anyway) is realistic, no digital nonsense flying about.

Jim “Ewan McGregor” Sturgess is Jude, Joe “The Ruins” Anderson is his new buddy Max when he comes to America, and Evan “Rachel” Wood is Lucy, Max’s sister/Jude’s love interest. They room with a Joplinesque singer, a Hendrixish guitarist and the cutest lesbian ever and meet up later with James Urbaniak, Bono and Eddie Izzard.

Fewer big wide-shot dance scenes than uncomfortably close-up solo singing numbers. Pretty straightforward love story that uses the 60’s and the Beatles without aping their career path (the two lovers get together during the rooftop concert rather than breaking up there). Better paced than Taymor’s last two films, entertaining and interesting throughout. Quite an achievement, especially considering what a bad idea a Beatles musical sounds like.

Shot by the cinematographer of the last two Jeunet pictures and the next Harry Potter, and with the art/production people from “Far From Heaven”.

Katy loved it, and would’ve loved it even more if she knew the songs.