• Publication date: August 19, 2011

They Left Home to Find Themselves Across the Universe: Six People, Six Different Stories

Jude (Jim Sturgess) is a ship welder and aspiring painter hailing from the working-class British city of Liverpool, famously known as birthplace of The Beatles. Longing to meet his estranged American father, he embarks on a trip to New Jersey and attempts to locate him.

Jude (Jim Sturgess) is a ship welder and aspiring painter hailing from the working-class British city of Liverpool, famously known as birthplace of The Beatles. Longing to meet his estranged American father, he embarks on a trip to New Jersey and attempts to locate him. He successfully finds dad at Princeton University, working unglamorously as the school's janitor. While there he also meets golfer, troublemaker, and fledgling freshman student Max (Joe Anderson).

Max is a midwestern, middle-class kid unsure of what he wants in life, debating whether or not to drop out of school. The arrival of his newfound English friend instills a sense of adventure in the student, prompting the duo to relocate to New York's bohemian Greenwich Village. There they join their roommates: Janis Joplin clone Sadie (Dana Fuchs), Jimi Hendrix inspired guitar player Jojo (Martin Luther McCoy), and a sexually confused young girl named Prudence (T. V. Carpio).

Each character finds themselves entangled in the social upheaval of late 1960s American life, including the country's perpetual war with Vietnam. For Max's sister, Lucy (Evan Rachel Wood) that means parting ways with Daniel (Spencer Liff ), her high school boyfriend en route to war. Distraught, she spends the summer in New York with her brother and soon becomes romantically involved with Jude.

The eclectic bunch lives harmoniously at first, but as time progresses each relationship and individual disintegrates. Max receives his draft card and departs for Vietnam, while Sadie pursues a solo career, angering Jojo and the other band members. Lucy's increased enthusiasm in the anti-war movement fuels a rift with an apolitical Jude, who prefers painting rather than protesting. In parallel Prudence develops a crush on Lucy, despite her relationship with Jude and obvious heterosexuality; this realization sends Prudence into deep depression.

A road trip with fictional psychedelic guru Dr. Robert (Bono) expands the crews' horizons, but Jude's high ends prematurely when immigration discovers his illegal residency and ships him back to the United Kingdom. Never give up hope however, as love conquerors all and each individual manages to overcome these emotional obstacles.

Across the Universe uses The Beatles songbook as a plot device throughout the film, where renditions of the band's famous works guide the story and its characters. Singers Bono and Joe Cocker appear in the film and on its soundtrack; actress Salma Hayek and comedian Eddie Izzard also make appearances. The picture was nominated for an Oscar, Golden Globe, Grammy, and Teen Choice award.

Year: 2007

Duration: 133 minutes

Genre: Adventure, Drama, Musical, Romance

Starring:

Jim Sturgess

Evan Rachel Wood

Joe Anderson

Dana Fuchs

Martin Luther McCoy

T. V. Carpio

Director: Julie Taymor

Rating: Rated PG-13 for some drug content, nudity, sexuality, violence, and explicit language.