For all you Beatles fans-this is the movie for you! It did not get a wide release, but it is worth hunting down a theater where it is playing. The plot revolves around a young Liverpool shipyard worker, Jude, who goes to America in 1967 to find his father. He falls in love with Lucy, the sister of his new friend Max. And there follow the trials and tribulations of young love.
The plot, however, is the least important part of this film. Julie Taymor has created an exciting visual and musical experience. She uses Beatles music to create the backdrop for the turbulence of the United States in 1967 and 1968, and for the troubled love between Jude and Lucy.
In addition to the special visual effects (psychedelic and otherwise), Taymor brings in newsreel footage from the Detroit riots and the Vietnam War. These visuals give the film a modern, edgy feel. The music is by the Beatles, but re-interpreted by contemporary singers. These new renditions give a different feel to a number of the songs.
It’s also quite fun to play “spot the actor”. A number of celebrities have small roles in the film, including Eddie Izzard, Salma Hayek, and Bono. I definitely recommend Across the Universe!