Welcome to this blog of my film reviews. Some have been drafted carefully on paper, others I have sat and typed. I'm going to make it clear right now that I don't expect you to agree with my (re)views, or to like my style of writing. However, I want my views to be just out there and open, as a person who wishes to express himself from deep within. Feel free to comment and debate with me, but I do ask that you are civil and not harsh, as any comments which are basically swear words and insults will automatically be deleted. Also any text that is in orange (and often bold) is a Hyperlink to either a source, or a previous post for background reference.
Friday, 10 September 2010
Rather than follow up the hugely successful Batman (1989) with another big budget special effects laiden blockbuster, director Tim Burton instead delivered a delightful, yet dark, fairy tale that is the complete opposite to a big budget Hollywood blockbuster. Edward Scissorhands is a left-of-centre fairy tale that remains Burton's most poignant and touching film to this day.
The titular Edward (Johnny Depp) is not a man, but the creation of The Inventor (a wonderful, but way too brief appearance from the wonderful Vincent Price in his final role). He looks human enough, except for the fact that he has scissors for hands, as The Inventor died just before he could complete Edward. Living alone in the crumbling mansion above a neighbourhood of pastel coloured houses, he is found by kindly Avon lady Peg Boggs (Dianne Wiest), who takes him in. Her friends take an instant liking to him when his special talent for hedge shaping, dog grooming and hairdressing is discovered. However, life for the innocent and trusting Edward is complicated when he falls for Peg's daughter Kim (Winona Ryder) and is soon tricked into commiting a crime by her boyfriend Jim (Anthony Michael Hall).
There are many successes that pull off this delightfully odd film, but the biggest of all is the cast. Hall is truly nasty as the brutish boyfriend, his bullying of Edward being really sickening, and you can't help but feel hate for him for it, especially if you've seen someone being bullied for being different. Ryder, on the other hand, brings a beautifully delicate touch to her role of nice girl on the block. It is Depp, however, who impresses the most, creating a character trapped by his incomplete body, conveying Edward's frustration through few words, his pale, scarred face showing the hurt when he discovers that even his gentlest touch with his scissor hands can cause pain.
Combined with beautiful mise-en-scene, a heart-warming, yet tear-inducing screenplay and a lovely soundtrack Burton has, in short, created a beautiful, ambitious modern-day fairy tale that will greatly touch everyone's hearts.
Stars: Johnny Depp, Winona Ryder, Dianne Wiest, Anthony Michael Hall, Alan Arkin, Robert Oliveri, Kathy Baker, Vincent Price, O-Lan Jones.
Oscar nomination: Best Makeup (Van Neill, Stan Winston).