**/**** Image A Sound A Extras A-
starring Evan Rachel Wood, Jim Sturgess, Joe Anderson, Dana Fuchs
screenplay by Dick Clement & Ian La Frenais
directed by Julie Taymor
by Bryant Frazer Long considered sacrosanct, in recent years the catalogue of music recorded by The Beatles has become fairer game. The success of a 2000 CD reissue of #1 singles may have greased the wheels for Beatles-related projects, including a 2006 Cirque du Soleil extravaganza based around the group's songs and mounted in Las Vegas, a comprehensive four-year-long digital remastering project involving all the original albums, and even a Beatles-only edition of the hit videogame series Rock Band. In this context, Across the Universe feels like a cog in a much bigger marketing machine. To some degree, it's impressive that director Julie Taymor managed to build a period-romance-cum-rock-musical entirely around Beatles songs, although the film never manages to answer the question of why such a project might be worth undertaking in the first place.