My relationship with biographical films has always been strained. My desire to learn more about certain historical figures, this case being Ed Wood (Johnny Depp) and Bela Lugosi (Martin Landeau), can blind me from judging the merits of the movie as a movie. I'll try to articulate my judgment simply: I grew up on Mystery Science Theater 3000, and through that show, I fell in love with B-movies. I was very familiar with the works of Ed Wood, when going into this movie. I was delighted by how much passion that Ed Wood had for his preposterous cinematic vision, and horrified by how little hope that Bela Lugosi had left in his final years of cinematic presence. Depp and Landeau presented themselves as desperate movie lovers, and, with the bizarre touches of Tim Burton (other than Schindler's List, there weren't and aren't many mainstream movies coming out in B&W), the story was surprisingly brought to heartwarming life. This is definitely one of Burton's most restrained works. Without anything supernatural at work, one's attention falls less on the special effects or set design (at best, the recreation of the minimal budget work that Ed Wood himself could barely afford), and more on character and story development. Good on Tim Burton for trying something new. Where many of his other films would sometimes delude how we saw its own characters, Ed Wood (the movie) doesn't cloud anything. We see Wood struggle to embrace his gender-swapping behaviours, as well as his "avant-garde" style of filmmaking. And so, looking at the story as another tale of self-acceptance may make one wonder, "Who cares about Ed Wood?" I must stress how his achievement of self-acceptance had never led to him being hailed as a genius. Ed Wood is still seen as an artistic loser, one of the worst film directors of all time. Yet, as shown in the scenes of the making of Plan 9 from Outer Space, he fought his superiors to the very end so that he could make what he wanted to make. Even more perplexing was how much his cast and crew believed in him. Maybe everyone knew it was crap, and they still wanted Ed Wood to win. I wanted Wood to win too. Clearly, Burton loved his fair share of B-movies, even framing the story as if it were an Ed Wood movie. As a fan work, as a biopic, and as a drama with stylistic, deadpan touches, Ed Wood is a winner.