ACROSS THE UNIVERSE
Drugs, Sex and Lies or Back to the Dark Ages of the Sixties
Release Date: September 14, 2007
Starring: Evan Rachel Wood, Jim
Sturgess, Joe Anderson, Dana
Fuchs, Martin Luther McCoy,
and T.V. Carpio
Audience: Older teenagers and adults
Runtime: 131 minutes
Distributor: Columbia Pictures/Sony
Director: Julie Taymor
Executive Producer: Derek Dauchy, Rudd Simmons and
Producer: Suzanne Todd, Jennifer Todd
and Matthew Gross
Writer: Dick Clement and Ian La
Address Comments To:Michael Lynton, Chairman/CEO
Amy Pascal, Chairman - Motion Picture Group
Sony Pictures Entertainment
(Columbia Pictures/MGM/TriStar/Screen Gems/Provident)
10202 West Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232-3195
Phone: (310) 244-4000
Fax: (310) 244-2626
Web Page: www.spe.sony.com/
The movie opens with Jude sitting on a beach singing one of the Beatles songs. Jude leaves his ship factory in Liverpool, signs on as a seaman on a freighter and illegally jumps ship in America, Later in the movie, he makes a comment about how liberating it feels to be an illegal immigrant. He searches for his father at Princeton and finds his father is not a professor but a janitor. He gets involved with Max, who looks 10 years older than a Princeton undergraduate. Max is a rich ne’er do well. Jude falls in love with Max’s sister, Lucy.
Max drops out of school and they all move to New York, to live in a hippie commune run by Sadie and her Jimi Hendrix boyfriend. They get deeply into the sex scene, the drug scene and the anti-war scene in late 1960s New York.
The rock singer Bono shows up in the Neal Cassady character. A lot of other rock stars have cameo roles. Sex is extolled. Drugs are extolled. Anti-war protests are extolled.
ACROSS THE UNIVERSE would be a pathetic movie were it not for the rousing Beatles songs. One reviewer walked out in the middle of it. Another commented, “Why isn’t Columbia Pictures putting any PR into this movie.” But, those reviewers who stayed until the end walked away praising the movie since they were touched by the warm, happy ending where Jude and Lucy get together for one more tryst.
The values in this movie are abhorrent. As with any movie that is anti everything, there are always one or two good moments which loony everything-is-redemptive reviewers will see seize upon. One moment is when Lucy walks in on her other paramour, the SDS leader, while he’s making illegal pipe bombs. She rants, “We’re not supposed to make bombs. The government does that!” Or, something like that. Her rant is vindicated when the radicals blow themselves up. The only other positive moment is when Jude gets upset when Lucy may be sleeping around with the revolutionary leader, showing that free love was not as free as everybody thought it was.
Aside from these two moments, this movie is in opposition to every civilized virtue and moral value. In the real world, these people would be suffering from drug addiction, hallucination, abortion, sexually transmitted diseases, and the many other consequences of their actions. How do we know? Well, when we were in that scene, one of the best and the brightest went loony and never recovered, another committed suicide, another jumped off a building, and of course there were others whom Jesus rescued from the edge of abyss. The age portrayed here as being so attractive is the age of fools who are now stewing in the corrupt juices of their own sins.
It is incredible that a PG-13 rating would be given to a movie that has such intense nude scenes. Some of the X rated movies of yesteryear should apply for re-classification. This is an extremely provocative movie for those who are susceptible to its tawdry cheap lures and anti-authoritarian values.
ACROSS THE UNIVERSE approaches filmmaking from the complete opposite of traditional plot, character, dialogue, etc. It builds a very tenuous story by linking many Beatles songs together in a visual, musical incarnation of a drug-induced LSD vision of an anti-American, anti-Christian Communist humanist utopia. Except for the music, the movie fails on practically all accounts and contains extreme sex and nudity.