Across the Universe (2007) Movie Review

By: Alex Phuong (A Toast) –

The Beatles rose to fame during the 1960s, and their legacy endures because of their captivating music.  The songs from that group essentially captured the essence of the social changes happening in America as the country transitioned from the stereotypical “Happy Days” of the 1950s to the psychedelic and radical 1960s.  Regardless of history and the past, great music remains timeless because of its universal qualities, which is probably why a film that features the music of the Beatles earned the title Across the Universe.

A Toast
This is one of the most audacious and highly original musicals ever made.  It might have only received one Oscar nomination for its costume design, but the Hollywood Foreign Press Association was nice enough to acknowledge this film with a Golden Globe nomination for “Best Picture – Comedy or Musical.”  That is actually a great compliment to this film because Across the Universe IS a fabulous motion picture!  This film might not be for everyone because of its mature themes and (somewhat) graphic content, but it reveals the reality of the time period in which this film is set (the 1960s) while combining those bleak facts with psychedelic fantasy.  The 1960s really were a definitive decade in American history, and this film transports audiences to that historical era while presenting a unique love story told through the mesmerizing music of the Beatles.  This film is a contemporary classic because it is simply dazzling and VERY inventive!

The first decade of the twenty-first century were an interesting era in film history because Hollywood did its best to bring back the musical.  Musical motion pictures have been around for almost as long as cinema itself, but some audiences do not feel comfortable watching films in which the characters randomly burst into song.  Music, film, and movie musicals have all evolved and changed dynamically throughout history, and musicals might not be for everyone, but this film can still present a contemporary love story as it takes viewers on a magical journey “across the universe” (pun intended).

Across the Universe (2007) Bonus Drinking Game

Take a Drink: for every musical number
Take a Drink: every time the film is iridescent (colorful and rainbow-like) and feels psychedelic.
Drink a Shot: for every reference to the Vietnam War
And Cheers: to this flowing tribute to the Beatles that many of the original band members praised and celebrated!

About Alex Phuong

Alex Andy Phuong earned his Bachelor of Arts in English from California State University-Los Angeles in 2015. His love affair with cinema began after discovering Turner Classic Movies in the summer of 2004. His favorite film director is Woody Allen, and his favorite movie star is Kate Winslet.

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