Ed Wood ★★★

1995 Cannes Film Festival (In Competition)

I was a bit nervous this would still be my favorite in competition, and that I would have to choose between lobbying sincerely for an already adored multiple Oscar-winner or voting strategically for films that could use the boost. This remains an issue as we deliberate over the next couple days, but at least the onus isn’t on me! Sure, Ed Wood is a loving ode to cinema and the indomitable spirit, or however it’s usually praised, but loving odes are too cuddly to make for great cinema (I’m hard-pressed to think of one counterexample). Stefan Czapsky’s images are gorgeous and memorable, but Burton’s broad, zippy style seems to have been adopted without a great deal of thought. It doesn’t resemble the films I’ve seen from Wood in any way, even if you account for a massive production upgrade, and it encourages the actors to repeat many of the same notes.