Johnny Depp’s take on Edward D. Wood, Jr. in Tim Burton’s “Ed Wood” is almost unfailingly positive, driven, and, well, delusional. He compares himself to Orson Welles in terms of… well… they both make movies. What Ed Wood lacks is any discernible talent.
Ed Wood (per the movie) accepts the first take on any scene, and rationalizes away any errors, flubs, or disasters. When Tor Johnson (played by George “The Animal” Steele) nearly takes out a set while trying to simply get through a door, Wood replies, “No, it’s fine. It’s real. You know, in actuality, Lobo would have to struggle with this problem every day.”
Even Wood’s supposed dark secret, his cross-dressing, appears to be more of a quirk. At least three times in the movie, Wood claims, sincerely, that he’s never told anyone about this but now he feels he must.
And when, finally, Kathy O’Hara (Patricia Arquette) simply replies, “OK”… Ed Wood has found the acceptance he’s looking for.
My take on the movie is that there really appears to be no subtext. As a biography, there’s no subtlety or hidden messages. It’s all right there on the surface; enjoyable, predictable, simple.
And once again, at the IFR Monday movie night, I failed to win any of the cool raffle prizes. Maybe next week!