A man built by an inventor, but left incomplete, is welcomed
into a loving family and enjoys the wonders of suburban life.
Edward Scissorhands (1990)
Directed by Tim Burton
Written by Caroline Thompson
Starring Johnny Depp, Winona Ryder, Dianne Wiest, Alan Arkin, Anthony Michael Hall, Kathy Baker, Robert Oliveri, Vincent Price
Oscar Nominations - Best Makeup
I'm a massive fan of Tim Burton's work pre-Chocolate Factory, and a lot of my friends and family couldn't believe that I hadn't seen Edward Scissorhands. I agreed, so I finally took the plunge as part of my ongoing Vincent Price watchlist for the Filmgazm Podcast. The film did not disappoint. It's a beautiful reimagining of the classic Frankenstein story, as told in wondrous Burton fashion with a terrifically sympathetic performance from Johnny Depp. This film appeals to the outsider, those of us who don't fit into societal norms. Edward is a character that the outcasts can identify with and root for as he stumbles his way through a world that sees him first as a novelty, and then as a monster.
Edward is an artificial man built by an eccentric inventor (Vincent Price, in his final film appearance before his death in 1993), but the inventor died before he could give Edward a pair of hands. Now, Edward is cursed with great big scissors as hands, and they make him a hazard to society, but they also give him the talent to carve beautiful garden sculptures and do great haircuts. Depp's turn as Edward made him a star, and it's a great reminder that despite the many paycheck gigs, Depp has it in him to be great, and it's still in there somewhere. His chemistry with Winona Ryder is great, and it's odd to see Anthony Michael Hall as both a jock and a villain.
Edward Scissorhands is easily one of Tim Burton's best films, and it, along with Beetlejuice, set the tone for what would be known as his signature sort of "gothic carnival" style. The film is funny at times, but also dramatic and pretty emotional, particularly once the town starts to turn on Edward, forgetting immediately that he's still a person with complex feelings. Definitely watch this one if you haven't already. It'll recharge your Burton batteries.