Ed Wood (1994) – Review

Ed Wood is a true story about Edward D. Wood Jr., a notorious Hollywood film director known for making what are believed to be Hollywood’s most awful productions. Most notably, the film explores his first picture, Glen or Glenda, a film about a cross-dressing male whom, like Wood himself, has an affection for doing so, and yet, is too afraid to tell his fiancée as well as Plan 9 from Outer Space, a film about alien’s that resurrect the dead and endeavor to cease human-kind from producing some sort of solar-powered bomb.

Burton’s Ed Wood does as well highlight Mr. Wood as not only a director and dreamer, but a wonderful friend.

Johnny Depp, in what is one of his best roles, is simply enthralling as Ed Wood. He elicits Ed Wood’s true-by-nature enthusiastic disposition with such craft, that once the curtain falls and your eye’s close, the direction continues in the black behind your eyelids—he is memorable. That being said, Depp isn’t the best performer in this piece. His co-star, Martin Landau, as the heroin addicted Bela Lugosi is, or at least was, Oscar worthy. His character is so perfectly portrayed that you really do get the sense of his consciousness. He is also entirely too hilarious and delivers many laughs, as does Depp.

Ed Wood relies too much on Wood’s eccentricities as it naturally should considering it is a film about him. These… abnormalities… however, are only so interesting resulting in an appeal that though charming is unable to maintain through the film’s fluctuating progression of highs and lows.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Both Depp and Landau display full-life in their characters, however, save for the always wonderful Bill Murray, the rest of the cast is uninspiring and lifeless; the animatronic octopus, as a prop in one scene, is far more spirited than what most of the crew through the piece appear to be.

The film is essentially a comedy, but it is not without its dramatics and the two blend well enough to create something that is worth watching. Not to mention, the films black & white cinematography holds a ’50s air about it which adds another layer of realism that the viewer can sink into.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ed Wood is relatable; he is us. He is an aspiring auteur. That however, does not mean a film about his career is an excellent one. But it is no means a terrible one either and it is certainly one you should watch as it may inspire.

7/10

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