Director: Tim Burton
Running Time: 2 hours, 7 minutes
A look at the career of Edward D. Wood Jr. (Johnny Depp) and his relationship with horror movie legend Bela Lugosi (Martin Landau).
"Ed Wood" is directed by Tim Burton and is based on the book "Nightmare of Ecstasy" by Rudolph Grey. It tells the story of infamous film director Edward D. Wood Jr., played here by Johnny Depp, from his feature film debut of "Glen or Glenda" to his magnum opus, "Plan 9 From Outer Space."
There is an old saying that says find your dream or goal and "fake it 'til you make it." Ed Wood certainly took this saying to heart and faked his way through his entire career despite lacking any real talent. He wound up being known as one of the biggest hacks in Hollywood. It's amazing he got so many of his movies funded because most of his projects were extremely bizarre at least. Another focus of the film is on the relationship between Wood and Bela Lugosi, played by Martin Landau, who Wood used in many of his films. By the time they met, Lugosi was way past prime and was a morphine addict. Martin Landau does a fantastic job in the part of Lugosi, showing both the vulnerability of an aging addict who has fallen out of favor and is desperate to regain the limelight he once had, as well the perfectly timed wittiness he still had and his resentment towards the business that he felt so harshly left him behind. This performance earned Landau a well deserved Oscar for best supporting actor. Johnny Depp is also brilliant as the over-confident yet under-skilled Ed Wood, and we think it is one of his best roles to date. He portrays Wood as a man with an unwavering passion for film and what he was doing in his career. At no point do we ever feel Wood was being exploitative, even though he probably was, nor that he ever felt he was making crap movies. In Wood's mind, he was always making a great film, though his actual abilities would prove otherwise. There is also a fabulous supporting cast including the likes of Bill Murray, Patricia Arquette, Sarah Jessica Parker, Max Casella, and George "The Animal" Steel, just to name a few, all of whom play the storied, oddball characters Wood kept gainfully employed in his life as a Hollywood director.
This film is touching, funny, and completely engaging. We remain entirely enthralled by this tremendous movie about a terrible director. We also like Burton's choice to shoot the movie in black and white, giving it the look and feel of a film straight from Ed Wood himself. In the end, "Ed Wood" is a charming and hilarious yet tender movie we enjoy watching again and again. Cinephiles must see this movie, and for fans of old school films, be sure not to miss this one. This is one of our favorite movies by Tim Burton, and he does an absolutely amazing job in this underrated classic.
My Rating: 10/10
BigJ's Rating: 10/10
IMDB's Rating: 7.9/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 92%
Do we recommend this movie: ABSOLUTELY YES!!!