'Ed Wood' was everything I wasn't expecting.I was intrigued by the idea of a biopic about a bad filmmaker and having seen a few of Burton's films I thought I knew what I was buying, yet the picture succeeds in being both true-to-life and surreal at the same time.
The surreality stems partly from the black and white filming and partly from the witty, self-aware dialogue which periodically seems to break the fourth wall. SJP's character leaves something to be desired and the story has manifold historical inaccuracies which make the meandering plot seem flimsy at times. Coupled with Depp's unwavering optimism it all adds up to a somewhat strange opus, but I did like the less contrived use of incidental characters such as Bunny and Vampira.
This flick is no consumnate success, but it is a move away from run-of-the-mill biopics which often strain for suspense and happy endings. The transvestite theme is carefully interwoven so that the film comes off as more of a sympathetic portrayal of Wood than a sensationalist gimmick.
Don't get me wrong, this IS a comedy; just not as most people know it.
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