Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Not that I really made the connection at the time, but this mellow 1990 tale reminded me quite a lot of the film Charlie And The Chocolate Factory from 15 years later.

Of course, that had the same director, lead actor, and flashbacks to the protagonist's father. Vincent Price is not Christopher Lee I grant you, but he might as well be.

The plot: Edward has scissors for both his hands (quite a time-saver if you collect coupons), and has been living as a recluse in a giant building just across town. Now confronted with some of his neighbours, he tries to get along with everyone, awkwardly.

Tim Burton's direction is recognisable, not just with his gothic design work, but his mellow tempo too. This film is in no hurry to get wherever it's going, and as such is unconcerned about any enormous plot holes either. Just how has Edward been getting his food all this time? How come noone from the town has ever been to his house before? Just what motivation is there for the woman who assumes Edward to be evil from the start? Well, because she's that character, so she just has to, she just does.

The central relationship between Edward and the girl who he inevitably falls in love with is realised very well, and his silence in taking the blame to protect her from the cops something that really hit a nerve with me.

I don't think I can sit through such a slow amble again though. For a film about a guy with scissors, this might well have benefited from a bit more cutting.

(available here)


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