Edward Scissorhands
directed by Tim Burton
(20th Century Fox, 1990)

What a movie! Edward Scissorhands will shred your heart. I have seen this movie at least two dozen times and I still choke back tears. This movie is so multi-layered that you will perceive it differently each time you watch.

On the surface, it is the story of a boy that is different from the rest of humanity who just wants to fit in and be accepted. He wants to be loved. Beneath the surface is an examination of the fickle nature of humans. One minute they love and the next minute they hate you. It is the story of how circumstance can dictate your life and the way people see you. It is a reflection of the way we go from fad to fad and how we often get caught up in "keeping up with the Joneses." It shows how sometimes love simply cannot be between people who are radically different. It makes the statement that occasionally you simply cannot fit in where you do not belong. There are so many layers to this movie!

Vincent Price is awesome as the old inventor. I thrill each time a flashback shows his lab and all the wacky apparatuses that he has invented. His cookie assembly line gets me rolling with laughter; only a man would dare to cut cookies in this fashion. These scenes were my favorite parts of the movie. Besides, what's not to love about Price? He is always outstanding in any role, especially scary or wacky ones.

Johnny Depp is fantastic as Edward Scissorhands. His makeup job is one of the best to be found in Hollywood, especially the scars. When you look at those scars, you cannot help but think of all the agony this poor boy has gone through. The scars make you realize what an impossible situation he was in. They make you cringe with pain. Depp's facial expressions conveyed as much as his words in this role. He was simply perfect for this part.

Winona Ryder made the movie, ideally cast as Kim Boggs. The chemistry between her and Depp is powerful. They play off each other really well. Her uppity, wicked boyfriend (played by Anthony Michael Hall) will make you want to throw a shoe at the screen every time he comes into view! He is a terrible person, and Hall pulls off the bullying persona to perfection. He is the guy you love to hate.

Even the hedge topiaries are a knockout! They are out of this world. It is worth buying this movie just to see all the topiaries, hairdos, and sheared dogs.

The bottom line is that this is a must-see movie. There is not a bad actor or role in the entire production. It flows smoothly and comes to a logical, if somewhat depressing, closure. It is wonderful for all ages and seems to possess a special power of fascination for children. Perhaps it is easy for them to identify with Edward Scissorhands. I know it was easy for me to identify with him. I love this movie and look forward to seeing it again.

- Rambles
written by Alicia Karen Elkins
published 24 May 2003

Buy it from Amazon.com.