What movie was that...?

05 October 2009

Edward Scissorhands

directed by Tim Burton

The NRA had Charlton Heston. Global plight and windbags everywhere have Bono. Applebee’s has John Corbett. And since his feature debut, Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, the outcasts and oddballs have had their own celebrity advocate, the ever-twisted, ever angst-riddled visionary whose tender embrace has enveloped so many like an awkward hug. I’m talking, of course, about Tim Burton, and when I think Tim Burton, I immediately think of my favorite film of all time, Edward Scissorhands, starring the dreamiest dreamboat Johnny Depp at his most sincere, and his most unusual (and that’s saying something). The story is a simple fairy tale updated for the 20th century; stranger arrives in town, stranger is embraced by town, then somehow, stranger is rejected by town, usually in the form of an angry, torch bearing mob. Plotwise, Burton doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel, but what he does do is create a magic so unique to his world, a magic that envelops you in spite of yourself. Depp plays Edward, a young man built in the laboratory of a scientist (Vincent Price in his final role) who passed away before he could complete his creation, leaving the unfinished Edward with scissors for hands. Edward lives alone in the old mansion on a hill until a visit from the local Avon lady (Dianne Wiest is perfection) brings him down to the world of suburbia. Easily his funniest, most genuine, and most personal film, Burton’s talent has never crystallized so beautifully into a single, heartbreaking vision. There are simply too may moments worth mentioning in the film, too many delicate, sweeping, outrageously funny and poignantly stinging moments for one review. From the delightfully sugary disposition of Dianne Wiest to the hilarious oblivion of Alan Arkin (in one of his best roles ever), Edward Scissorhands is a film for the ages. A film that has to power to reveal itself anew with every viewing is a wonder to behold, and I don’t think I should live to see the day in which I grow tired of such a thing.

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