The first time I saw Edward Scissorhands, I remember being so excited that a movie could make me feel that good. Although not technically a Christmas film, I have watched it most years around the holiday time as its setting and themes speak to the season well.
First of all, Edward Scissorhands is a very funny film. Alan Arkin and Diane Weist are both strong as Edís adoptive parents, each bringing their own oddball sense of humour to the piece. I love how each comes from a place of unconditional love, a rarity in comedy. Strong in supporting roles are the spiteful Anthony Michael Hall and the lusty Kathy Baker each adding to the ďjust offĒ sense of the entire film.
However, the film probably wouldnít have worked so well without the amazing Johnny Deep in the lead. He has gone on to create a series of unique and iconic screen personas and Edward was one of the first.
I would argue that this is director Tim Burtonís strongest work. He balances his own cartooney sensibilities and just this side of dark style to a critique of normality or the illusion of normality. He tells it in a way that is funny, charming and irresistible.
I admit Edward Scissorhands is also overwhelmingly commercial but that actually adds to its strength instead of taking away from it. Itís accessible without pandering. It sells its message of the tortured artist and the oppressive society with such conviction that you canít help but buy it. This is a variation on the Christ story which is why itís an appropriate yuletide film.
I will also admit that Winona Ryder is annoying in anything sheís in but even she canít ruin this modern classic. If you are looking for a different film to watch this Christmas Eve, revisit Edward Scissorhands again now that is available in a special edition with great features.