Wednesday, December 14, 2011

My Top 25 Christmas Movies List: #12 Edward Scissorhands

Edward Scissorhands (1990)

    Johnny Depp stars as the sweet and innocent Edward Scissorhands in this warm-hearted fantasy film by Tim Burton. I know that this is technically not a "Christmas movie" but the last scenes do take place during the Christmas season as you will see by the decorations, theming and snow.

   The film begins with an elderly woman telling her granddaughter where snow comes from. She explains that the story starts with a young man named Edward (Johnny Depp) that lives up on the mountain. He was the creation of an old inventor that passed away before he could complete Edward and so he was left with scissors for hands.

   Sometime later, Peg Boggs (Dianne Weist), an unsuccessful Avon lady, decides to venture outside of her own neighborhood and drives up to the dark, gothic mansion up on the mountain. There she encounters a frightened and lonely Edward and brings him home. He is welcomed by Peg's family with the exception of their teenage daughter, Kim (Winona Ryder) who is frightened of the strange man. Edward falls in love with her from the moment he sees her.

   Peg's busy-body neighbors force her to host a barbecue so that they can meet the mysterious new visitor. And after seeing the magnificent lawn sculptures he has created they all want him to do the same at their own homes.

   Edward's artistic nature becomes the most popular thing in the neighborhood and they soon have him cutting the hair of both the dogs and the women. One of the women, Joyce (Kathy Baker) wants Edward to become her business partner and open a salon. She attempts to seduce him but Edward, frightened and confused, walks out. She then lies and tells people that he tried to attack her.

   Kim's boyfriend Jim (Anthony Michael Hall) asks her to convince Edward to help them in a plot to steal from Jim's own parents. In the process, Edward becomes locked inside and is arrested by the police for attempted burglary. When given the chance to explain that he was framed, he does not reveal the truth. He does this to protect Kim, whom he loves. He is released based on the fact that after a life of solitude, he is unable to distinguish right from wrong.

  The Boggs family decides to hold a Christmas party and invite the neighbors, although they are reluctant to attend. While decorating the tree, Kim sees snow falling outside the window and when she goes outside to invetigate, she finds Edward sculpting an ice block into a beautiful angel. Kim begins dancing in the snow. Edward, not knowing that she is below him, accidentally cuts her hand with his scissors while trying to climb down from the ladder. Jim walks up just at that moment and claims that Edward did it on purpose and begins pushing and yelling at Edward until he runs him off. The Boggs family heads out to find Edward and bring him back.

   Edward, enraged by Jim, begins taking out his frustrations on the neighborhood by cutting down their lawn sculptures and slashing tires. The neighbors call the police and they begin a manhunt. Edward returns to the Boggs' home and Kim is there waiting for him. She asks him to hold her but Edward sadly says, "I can't." Kim carefully wraps his arms around her to show him that he can, and the two embrace.

   Edward then saves Kim's little brother, Kevin, from being hit by the drunk-driving Jim and his friend. While trying to see if Kevin is okay, Edward repeatedly cuts the boy. The neighbors run out to see the commotion and believe that Edward is attacking him. Jim jumps on top of Edward and begins hitting him. Once he is free, Kim tells Edward to run and he heads back home to the mansion on the mountain. But that is not good enough for the neighbors, they follow Jim, who is now leading the mob.

   Kim gets to the mansion and Edward before they do, but Jim interrupts them and begins shooting at him. Kim tries to stop Jim and he kicks her across the room. Edward stabs him and Jim falls out the window to his death, just as the neighbors arrive. Edward says goodbye to Kim and she confesses her love for him. She runs out of the mansion and tells the mob that Edward is also dead and they leave.

   The elderly woman resumes her story and says that she never saw Edward again. Her granddaughter asks how does she knows he is still alive. The woman explains that, "Before Edward came down from the mountain, it never snowed. And afterwards, it did." She then says, "Sometimes you can still find me dancing in it."

   The movie ends with Edward up in the mansion, sculpting blocks of ice, creating flakes of snow flying out of the window and falling down upon the town.




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