(1990) Drama/Comedy/Romance|PG-13|starring Johnny Depp, Winona Ryder, and Dianne Weist| written by Tim Burton and Caroline Thompson|Directed by Tim Burton
Edward Scissorhands director Tim Burton crafts a modern day fable about a man with scissors for hands. The movie starts with a grandmother telling her granddaughter a bedtime story. Basically, an old inventor created Edward but died before he was able to give him human hands. He is now trapped in the castle as a prisoner. Dianne Weist’s(Peg) character who is an Avon lady goes to the castle to get a new clients, finds Edward and decides to take him home as an adopted son.
Of course, now the noisy neighborhood is wondering who this new person is with the scissor hands. Edward’s trials at the dinner table have always made me laugh, as well as Peg trying to give him a makeover with the wrong color of makeup. He decides one day out in the garden that he will start making topiaries. The first one he made is of a dinosaur. The neighbors learn of this new skill, and soon he is making garden sculptures for every house. He also becomes not only the dog groomer but the hair dresser of the neighborhood. There is a hilarious montage of Edward giving the woman haircuts that very bizarre, but the woman don’t seem to mind because most of them have crushes on him.
Edward soon meets Peg’s daughter Kim(Winona Ryder) and develops a crush on her. Their budding romance is thwarted by Kim’s punk boyfriend (Anthony Michael Hall). He soon catches a scheme to steal money from his family to buy a van. They get Edward to break into the house due to his special hands. Edward does it to win Kim’s love. He gets arrested, and soon the whole town turns on him and labels him a freak.
This was one of the first partnerships between Johnny Depp and Tim Burton. They have then gone on to do five films together. The acting, the music, and the makeup/set design all work on this film. Depp plays Ed with a child-like vulnerability. Dianne Weist is great in the mother role to her adopted son. Anthony Michael Hall plays a mean punk, and it was good to see him in a different role besides the John Hughes films.
The music and set design are calling cards in a Burton film. Danny Elfman’s score is both creepy in some scenes, and very soothing in the next scene. This is another partnership that was formed in this film, and they continue to work together today. The set design of the neon houses, and crazy topiaries give the film an almost 1950’s vibe. You weren’t sure when or where it was supposed to take place. It just says suburbs.
My one complaint of this movie was the length. I thought it was too short. Overall, the acting was amazing, and the make-up and set design work here as well. Every aspect of this film give to the modern day fable of an outsider wanting to fit in with the world.