I don’t care if she was caught shoplifting, Winona Ryder still holds a place in my heart after all these years and the rise (and fall) of so many female actors. The photo above is of a picture I painted a few years ago based on the imagery for the wierd animated film A Scanner Darkly also starring Keanu Reeves, Woody Harrilson and Robert Downey Junior and based on the brilliant story by Philip K Dick. Dick’s stories have been used for many a sci-fi film including the classic Bladerunner, Total Recall, Minority Report, Paycheck and The Adjustment Bureau, and I am a big fan of his also, but I digress…
Winona Ryder first came to my attention in Heathers, but it wasn’t until Beetlejuice that I developed a major crush on her (remember the days when you could have a ‘crush’) and she replaced Molly Ringwald as my number one icon. Edward Scissorhands compounded the crush. In Dracula she distracted me impressively from Keanu’s awful accent and Reality Bites made a lot of sense while I was at university thinking I would end up qualifying as a member of Generation-X. A black and white photo shoot for a popular magazine in the 90’s gave me subject matter for a number of pencil sketches I still have in a folder somewhere and her beauty gave me chills fueling depressive anxieties I had at the time over my obsessional attititudes towards the real women in my life. I got over it.
I endured The Crucible and How to Make an American Quilt to satisfy my need for a Winona fix, and then along came Alien Ressurection where she played the cutest android the sci-fi landscape had ever seen (until perhaps Battlestar Galactica got a remake some may argue). There is a moment in the film where the light catches her eye and we see a tiny halo trapped within. I like to think this was a metaphor for her need to help the humans in peril as she tried to follow Asimov’s Laws of Robotics to the letter.
I thought Girl, Interrupted was one of her best films (perhaps because she was an exec producer) despite Angelina trying to steal the show. I was in a dark place of my own when I saw it and I found it inspirational despite some terrible acting. I vaguely recall her popping up in an episode of Friends and then for me at she least disappeared off the face of the planet until coming back in 2D in the aforementioned A Scanner Darkly. Following that she gave me a great surprise as Mr. Spock’s mumsy in Star Trek and more lately she made Black Swan a little more bearable.
The picture hangs above my computer monitor, like some kind of religious icon to be worshipped. Make of this what you will.