Ed Wood Screen 6 articles

Ed Wood

1994

Ed Wood Poster
  • Had never seen this one before, but found it a fairly ambling biog with a hollow core in the form of Depp's charmless, Pee-Wee Herman-a-like take on Ed Wood. I can't decide if the film would've been too morose/punshing had the focus been more on Landau's extraordinary Bela Lugosi, a far more interesting and ambiguous character. Burton plays the scene in which he wrestles with the octopus for laughs... but it's a genuinely harrowing moment of the quotidian humiliations that come with moviemaking.

  • One of the undeniable pleasures of Ed Wood is its treatment of three features — Glen or Glenda?, Bride of the Monster, and Plan 9 — as holy writ to be lovingly interpreted, imagining how certain scenes were actually shot or, in the wonderful opening sequence, offering a passionate pastiche in Wood’s style.

  • It uses the broad outline of his career as the foundation for an affectionate, heartfelt paean to cockeyed optimism, with Depp as the poignant personification of drive and passion divorced from talent.

  • Burton, an imaginatively unhinged visual prankster who occasionally moonlights as a major director, never before or ever again exhibited the astonishing range of talent he displayed in Ed Wood. The film is an example of that most rewarding sort of artistic mastery: It feels effortless, and there's no deadening sense of "craft" that often kills Oscar winners.

  • Tim Burton’s best film... is a rare beast, a film whose poignancy is a result of its sheer good will. A film that risked condescension toward its subject, Ed Wood instead became an unexpectedly fine tribute to creation and ingenuity and the kind of passionate carelessness that does not denote polish or class but nevertheless conveys love of the craft.

  • There’s that troubled man on screen, again looking at pretty things in the window, but here he’s pretty Johnny Depp in an extraordinary, disarmingly loving tribute made by a director at the top of his game (Burton, not Wood, though I’ll continue to throw down for Glen or Glenda as Wood’s masterstroke). Among many of the picture’s excellent, funny and intriguing re-creations of Wood’s direction, Ed Wood shows the auteur crafting that mannequin scene I described earlier.

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