Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Winona Ryder: Forever Young, Forever Talented.

I've wanted to post an article about this actress for a while now.  Ever since I was a young kid, I have been both in love and lust for this beautiful individual and it's an honor to do a tribute.  She has played a wide range of characters, but surprisingly has barely aged. When she does play older roles, she has to use make-up to look that age and she still looks good.  That kind of beauty is extremely rare and I'm surprised she is not getting more roles.  Some may say it's because of the whole shop lifting incident and I hope not, because that is a really minor offense.  Especially when you compare that to what other celebrities (mostly male) have done.  She is a great talent that deserves to be back on top again.

In this article I am going to focus on a lot of her roles, but I have not seen every one, so don't get discouraged.

The Films


In this early Tim Burton comedy, Winona, the daughter of an uptight New York couple, befriends the ghosts (Gena Davis, Alec Baldwin) that live in their home. She was the first representation of what's known as a goth persona on screen, and she just shines.  Even though she is obsessed with death, she's not all gloomy and emo.


"Heathers", in my opinion, is one of the greatest high school satires ever made.  The way it exposes the social class warfare and the hidden hypocrisy of becoming popular is really unique and clever.  This role was tailor-made for Ryder.  True, Veronica Sawyer did help murder a few of her classmates, but in the end she also helped make her school a better place.

Edward Scissorhands.

Ryder teams up again with Tim Burton for this enchanting Christmas story of a creation (Johnny Depp) who was not fully finished.  The character of Kim is different from the roles she has played so far.  Even though the notion of the popular girl falling in love with the shy quiet kid is really far fetched, both actors really sell the idea because their chemistry is really strong.

Night On Earth.

In this section of the anthology comedy from Jim JarmuschWinona Ryder plays a blue collar cabbie whose fare is a wealthy casting agent (Gena Rowlands).  It's clear the message is how alike we all are despite our outward appearance.  Ryder does a good job with the role and still looks very sexy even with all the dirt on her face.

Bram Stoker's Dracula.

In her first period drama, Winona plays a woman who is engaged to Jonathan (Keanu Reeves), but ends up becoming seduced by Dracula (Gary Oldman).  I remember liking this movie when I first saw it, but as time passes, I seem to like it less and less.  All the performances are fine, especially Oldman, but Ryder and especially Reeves did not make me fully believe that I was in the early 18th century.

Reality Bites.

I really don't remember much of this movie, except this scene, and  Ethan Hawke's character being a complete asshole loser who Ryder falls in love with anyway.  It was also the first feature to incorporate the whole found footage premise heavily into it's plot.

Alien Resurrection.

For many fans of this franchise, "Alien Resurrection" is the one that is most despised.  Jean-Pierre Jeunet ("Amelie") directs this entry and, while it may have some problems in the story department, the movie itself is never boring.  Ryder does a good job in her first action film and I hope her and Jeunet team up again for another project soon.  She and the star of "Amelie", Audrey Tautou, could be sisters that got separated at birth.  Call me and we'll talk details about the plot.  OK.


Winona Ryder has worked with some of the best directors in the business, so it makes sense she would team up with Woody Allen for this comedy about the perils of becoming famous.  Kenneth Branagh over does the Woody persona, but the rest of the cast is very good.  Miss. Ryder has a nice part as the love interest to the main character, but she ends up being forgettable due to not having much screen time for us to like her.  Also a lack of chemistry helped hinder this one as well.

Girl, Interrupted.

I am going to man-up and admit something to you readers that I have not mentioned before.  Every time I see this movie, I cry.  As much as I try to hold it back, the waterworks come and I can't help it.  Even when I know when the sad part is about to happen, I cry.  That's not saying that this is at all a depressing movie, because it's not.  Hell there are many moments like the one above that are happy, but damn it still brings a tear to my face.

The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things.

In this scene, Winona plays the doctor to a boy who has been abused in every home that he has lived in.  This book became famous because of the author's true life confessions about his horrid childhood, only to have it end up being a hoax.  This was only a small cameo, but she still did a great job.

A Scanner Darkly.

In this adaptation of the book by Phillip K Dick, Miss. Ryder plays the drug addicted girlfriend of Bob (Keanu Reeves, once again) who is in fact a cop investigating her and the rest of his friends.  This is a very stylistic film and the rotoscoping animation is incredible.  I'm afraid most people may be turned off by its artwork, but it is really good, and Winona does some of her best acting here.

Sex and Death 101.

Teaming up again with Daniel Waters ("Heathers") for this comedy about a man (Simon Baker) who knows every woman he has or will fuck, Winona plays a woman known as Death Nell, who kills men by poisoning them on dates.  She is the only thing I liked about this whole movie and wish the movie's focus was on her and not on Baker.

Star Trek.

A very short cameo in which she played Spock's Mom.  To appear much older Winona had to use a lot of make up and, even with it on, she still looks really good.  Her role in this is fine, but I had a hard time believing her to be that old.  I really think she either is a vampire or made some sort of deal to remain that young looking.

Black Swan.

I was really hoping Miss. Ryder would have gotten some award recognition for her work here.  Even though the moments she has on screen are brief, they are all memorable.


It's been a long time, but I was glad to see Miss. Ryder team up with Mr. Burton for this project instead of his earlier ones.  In it, she plays the young daughter of the mayor and befriends a boy who has brought his dog back from the dead.  It's really cool that she was cast in a younger role when she very easily could have been one of the adults.



  1. Awesome post! She truly is gorgeous! I've been a fan since watching Beetlejuice and Edwards Scissorshand as a kid. I remember that scene in Star Trek where they had her playing an older woman and thinking "even in science-fiction is this not possible"

  2. Thanks. I can't beleive I didn't write about her sooner

  3. I do love Winona Ryder going back to Lucas. She was one of my early crushes growing up. I'm glad she still looks great and I hope she gets the comeback she deserves.

    1. Good call on Lucas. I still have not seen that flick. Will try and seek that one out. Thanks so much for comenting

  4. Great post! I love Winona and she is such a beauty, one of the most gorgeous actresses out there. I really hope she will appear in more movies, she is so talented.

    1. Thank you. She is one of those actors from the 80's that haven't gone away and I wish she would get her chance again soon. Oh btw check out the podcast that the girls of Reel Insight did on her. It is very well done.

  5. I adore her! Heathers, Edward Scissorhands and Girl, Interrupted are some of my favourite films.
    Can't wait for Frankenweenie.

    1. Frankenweenie is a good scary movie for kids. Wish it did better at the box office. Thanks for the comment

  6. Great post! I've had a crush on her for the last 25 years.

    1. Thank You for comments I hope she has more movies to be released soon

  7. ADORE this!!! There's a few here that I haven't seen. Reality Bites though? That movie got me through my 20s, no lie.

    1. Thank you very much. I'm curious to know which ones you haven't seen.

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  9. Winona Ryder is awesome - a very underrated actress. Heathers is one of my all-time favorites.

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