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A Festive Alternative: Edward Scissorhands

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Megan Furborough, Screen Editor explains why Johnny Depp in face paint should be a sight for sore eyes this Christmas.

Image credit: CBS
Image credit: CBS

Whilst most of this film is set in a sundrenched and pastel-toned 1950s California, there’s snow (ish), there’s a Christmas tree and there’s Winona Ryder dancing under the flakes, which makes Edward Scissorhands my all-time favourite Christmas movie.

Directed by the legendary Tim Burton, Edward Scissorhands is framed by an elderly grandmother telling her granddaughter where the Christmas snow comes from. The story recounts the tale of Edward (Johnny Depp), an artificial boy left with scissors for hands after his kindly inventor dies before being able to attach his human hands.

Orphaned and alone in a crumbling mansion – after being taken in by Peg Boggs, a local Avon Saleswoman (Dianne Wiest) – Edward falls in love with the Boggs’s daughter Kim (Ryder). Despite the town’s initial admiration of his hedge-cutting skills, a series of disastrous accidents with his scissor hands lead to Edward being ostracised and feared by the townspeople, particularly Kim’s boyfriend Jim (Anthony Michael Hall).

The best scene comes as the Boggs family are putting up their Christmas decorations. Putting his hedge-cutting skills to good use, he creates an ice-sculpture, the shavings flying at such speed that they fall as flakes on a beautifully dancing Kim.

Danny Elfman’s haunting score, an elderly Kim’s admittance that “sometimes you still catch me dancing in it” and the chemistry between Ryder and Depp (they dated in real-life after this film) will leave you crying into your selection box and howling “WINONA FOREVER!”

Burton’s kookiness and the film’s quieter but still powerful tone make it a worthwhile change from the in-your-face antics of Elf or the preposterous storyline of Love Actually, leaving Edward Scissorhands as the perfect film for curling up on the sofa over the Christmas break.

Megan Furborough, Screen Editor

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