DIRECTOR: Tim Burton
May Contain Spoilers!
Is this Tim Burton at his best? That’s a worthy question, as this is a truly worthy film and one which any director should be proud to have a s part of their filmography. Ed Wood was a made after the success’ of Batman and Edward Scissorhands and reunited Burton with regular contributor Johnny Depp, again playing the titular role. Edward G. Wood was has been dubbed the world’s WORST film maker, a status which after his death, made him a legend in cult film circles.
This film is a loving and respectful biopic of a man who had a passion for making films, even though he may not have been any good, whilst often wearing women’s clothing, the subject of transvestites being the subject of his film, Glen Or Glenda?.
Burton and Depp’s portrayal of Wood is that of a very genuine man, who made the best of what little he had, especially money which eluded him throughout his career. Wood is seen here as man whose dreams of becoming a film maker, and who’s intrepid spirit to never give up, never wavered, almost like the artist in any teenager. The problem with Wood is that he was grown man and probably should have gotten a day job at some point!
Whether the REAL Ed Wood was any good is a debate for another time, but Burton’s film is one of the best bio’s that I can recall, managing to keep the entertainment values high, as this, rare at the time, black and white homage to time in cinema history almost forgotten, would invariably alienate some of its audience by its monochrome look. The story and the brilliant cast do this film justice and even though it is accepted that certain major plot points are false, such as the portrayal of Bela Lagosi (Dracula) as a single, lonely old man, excellently portrayed by Martin Landau, I challenge you find any biopic where theatrical licence hasn’t been taken.
Tim Burton is a grand visionary and before Christopher Nolan reinvented the comic book age, Burton did it first! But this tempers his vision without losing his flair, with a very honest take on the look of a films from the era of Wood himself, hence the black and white mastering, the cinematography and Howard Shore’s less intense score. Kudos all round for this almost forgotten masterpiece. A brilliant film about the world’s worst director. The irony is not lost on me, I can assure you.