ED WOOD is a quirky, amusing look at the man who rose to cult fame when he was voted "Worst Director of All Time." Looking at his passion for moviemaking and crossdressing, director Tim Burton and his team have created a visual and artistic masterpiece in the style of the B-movies themselves (and shot entirely in black and white). With no nudity, no violence and a stellar performance by Martin Landau as Bela Lugosi, the amount and type of objectionable language and the lighthearted references to transvestism pose the only real problem.
ED WOOD is a quirky, amusing look at the man who rose to cult fame when he was voted “Worst Director of All Time” — a man who had a passion for movie-making and crossdressing. Beginning in bad theatre, a chance meeting with an aging and broken Bela Lugosi gives him his big break into filmmaking. With no budgets and still no talent for writing or directing, Wood continues to make one critical failure after another. All the while he acts as caretaker to Lugosi, a frightened, lonely, destitute man with a twenty-year addiction to morphine.
ED WOOD is an artistic masterpiece, even though it may paint a rather romantic portrait of a seedy character and his world. Done with flair in the style of a 1950s B-movie itself and shot entirely in black and white, ED WOOD is best appreciated after having seen at least his PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE. Most of the immorality is only implied, and with no nudity, no violence and some good humor, language poses the only real problem. Even the scenes of Wood in drag are so underplayed that they become only one more silly absurdity. Martin Landau may have yet another chance at an Oscar for his tragic yet sardonic Lugosi. Burton and the design team must be given credit for leaving no creative stone unturned. The movie will deserve any artistic accolade it receives as well as the moral criticisms.
(H, LLL, V, S, N, D, Ho, B, AB) Secular humanism with closet transvestite as main character; 24 obscenities, 6 profanities, 8 vulgarities, & some derogatory comments from minor characters about homosexuality; brief comic violence; implied non-marital living arrangement; woman appears briefly in a bra (not a frontal shot); drug abuse depicted; minor character is homosexual, main character frequently in women's clothing; respectful depiction of naive Christian film backers; and, slight mocking of the sacrament of baptism.