Burton's satirizes social conformity in this fantastical tale of Edward (Depp)—a modern-day Frankenstein with scissors for hands—set in a pastel, manicured suburb where husbands leave for work with robotic precision. When a well-intentioned Avon lady (Wiest) discovers him living alone in an isolated Victorian fortress and moves him into her family's ranch-style home, Edward quickly becomes a freakish oddity, an object of curiosity, prurience and fear. The central irony of the film is that Edward's handicap is also the source of his artistry: he uses his deformity to clip hedges, hair, and poodles to enliven the mind-numbingly regimented world of the sleepy suburb. Petty and malicious gossip eventually sours the suburban mob against Burton's antihero and it is only the love of Kim (Ryder)—who sees beyond his physical difference and into his poetic soul—that promises redemption. A surreal blend of enchantment and pathos, Burton's film is both a quirky exploration of social marginalization and a poignant romance between a beauty and her beast. "Burton, a wise child and a wily inventor, has created a bright and bittersweet fable. Depp, who wears the hyper-alert, slightly wounded expression of someone who has just been slapped out of a deep sleep, brings a wondrous dignity and discipline to Edward, and Wiest does a delightful turn on the plucky, loving mothers from old sitcoms. The whole movie, in fact, time-travels between today and the '50s… but the film exists out of time—in the any-year of a child's imagination."—Richard Corliss, Time.
Bing Theater | $10 general admission. $7 museum members, seniors (62+), students with valid ID.