One of the best films, about one of the worst directors of all-time.
Johnny Depp plays Ed Wood, a grinning goof with a sunny disposition who was heralded as the “worst director of all time” — and certainly made the movies to prove it. (He also loved to direct his epically bad films while dressed in women’s clothing.) Martin Landau turns in an Oscar-winning performance as aging horror icon Bela Lugosi, while Sarah Jessica Parker and Bill Murray co-star. Tim Burton directs.
I have never seen classic crap-fests like Plan 9 From Outer Space, or Bride of the Monster. However, seeing just how creative Ed Wood was, makes me want to go out there and find them.
The best thing about this film is that the direction from Burton is solid beyond belief. We understand this Ed Wood guy from his zany personality, his love for movies, and the art of everything in his movies being perfect, regardless of what others think. There is never a time in the film, where it seems like saying, “Ed Wood was terrible”, instead its more about how much the director took passion in his work rather than worry about the critics, something we never see in today’s world.The comedy in this film works so well with its main subject, because his movies were that bad, that they are liable to laugh at.
The performance here given by Depp is honestly one of his better earlier performances of his career, as he captures the zany character of Ed Wood, a director no matter how bad his films were viewed as, he never gave up in achieving his vision of his movies. The rest of the cast does well like Bill Murray who’s playing a gay man, Sarah Jessica Parker playing Sarah Jessica Parker, but none of them quite add up to the great Martin Landau. Landau probably gives one of the best supporting acts in a comedy in a long time with his act as the legendary, Bela Lugosi. I loved almost every time he was on-screen, capturing the real essence of what its like to be this old, cranky actor, who just doesn’t give a shit anymore.
The bond that Wood and Lugosi is where the real heart of this film lies. It feels genuine, because of the their great chemistry, but because in the film, they are put through situations where you can obviously tell they care for one another (no homo). However, I just feel like the film could have hit that more and more. Not necessarily the relationship between the two, but more of the dramatic elements to the life of Ed Wood, and also the repercussions he had for making these terrible movies. We just saw them talking about it, but never how it officially messed up his career, and the others around him.
Consensus: Ed Wood not only celebrates the life of the “worst director of all-time”, but also embraces the fact that he was one of the more important ones of our life time, with great performances from the cast, especially Landau, and a great script, or laughter, tragedy, and film-making.