Director: Tim Burton
Starring: Johnny Depp, Martin Landau
Runtime: 127 minutes
A lot can be said about Ed Wood. It's wacky, fun and acted in a very enticing, soliloquy manner. But it's also quite a tender picture - it deals with the struggles, obstructions and pain of pulling a true career out of the harsh, challenging hat that is Hollywood. This is brilliantly reflected by the standout performances from Johnny Depp, Martin Landau, Patricia Arquette, and much to my surprise, Sarah Jessica Parker. The challenging topic of this film reflects on all of these characters throughout the film, as we watch how they deal with them individually, and have a wonderful film watching experience in the process.
One thing that pisses me off more than anything is when a film constantly throws obscurity at you when there really isn't need, and it doesn't really work well with the rest of the film. Ed Wood is an exception to this rule, as the strangeness of the film is actually rather beautiful at parts, as it mirrors the personalities of the characters in a very charming and understanding way. The obscurity of this film actually makes the character of Ed Wood, among many others, intriguing and fascinating to watch, as their personas begin to develop over the course of the film. Each character appeared to be in a world of their own, with different aspirations, which was interesting to watch.
The way this film was made actually made me forget about the fact that this film was made about one of the worst directors of all time. The fact that the film was entirely in monochrome effect really blended with how bland Ed's life often was, and how many times he was close to giving up, due to so many rejections. Aside from Ed Wood, a particularly fascinating character was Landau's Bela Lugosi, the legendary star of Dracula who relies on Ed for help, and features in many of his pictures, as he is displayed as a warm, kind yet eerily unstable human being. The camerawork in this film really brings out the emotions and social points that this film was obviously attempting to bring out, and Burton succeeded brilliantly in doing so. I've never been a huge fan of the Burton-Depp collaborations, but this is hugely different from all of the other ones - it's funky with reason.
There's numerous other things that make this film special - the sweet, often melancholic score that almost always displays the emotions that the characters are feeling. The chemistry between the characters, particularly Ed and Bela, or Ed and Kathy, is absolutely fantastic and is a complete joy to set eyes upon. The dialogue in this film is never superfluously random like many other of Burton's works, it's sharp and the delivery is wonderful. Not many films can blend all of the aspects that Ed Wood features and make it work at the same time. This film truly made the year of '94 that little bit solider in my books.
As you may have picked up from things I have said earlier on in the review, I'm not a big Tim Burton fan. I think that he packs unnecessary amounts of randomness and quirkiness into his films that just comes out as stupid. He constantly relies on the same style over and over again, and I honestly think that's why his crazy fan base go nuts for him. But Ed Wood is different - Burton's style actually works in this. Ed Wood really is a one of kind experience - it's touching, it's smart and almost every aspect of it blends well. This is a stylish, fun filled and surprising deep film that is sadly not noticed among the large part of Burton's cult followers.