Taymor has a long theater background. Films are kind of a side project for her, really.Across the Universe: This thing is so darn visually inventive and arresting. It helps that it's all happening to the sounds of The Beatles. The characters are maybe not strongly defined or well explored but the film very cleverly manages to tell a simple but coherent story through its string of musical sequences, re-interpreting the meaning of some classic songs along the way. Kind of surprised to see the negative critical reception this received. Maybe it's just an overlong music video and yes it's a bit too literal in matching visual imagery with the lyrics but I found even that but particularly its visual choreography to be engaging for the entire run time. I didn't know of Julie Taymor before this film but I'll check out her other films (which appear to be mostly Shakespeare adaptions) now.