Theater-trained Julie Taymor's phantasmagoric story of young lovers caught up in the counterculture as seen through the prism of Beatles songs is a wildly ambitious undertaking, and her reach exceeds her grasp for a good half of its two-hour and 10-minute running time. But the other half is breathtaking, simultaneously visually inventive and vividly attuned to the broad streak of melancholy that runs through some of the sunniest pop hits of the 1960s.
The year is 1968, and restless Jude (Jim Sturgess) sits on a deserted Liverpool beach, plaintively singing "Is there anybody going to listen to my story?" as he looks out to sea. Determined to escape the dea...