Tim Burton is one of those unique directors whose films you simply love or hate. Along with other visionary directors such as Terry Gilliam and David Lynch, his work is often as much about the visuals as it is the storytelling. A self-confessed recluse, Burton has become well known for his frequently dark and gothic filmmaking and kooky off-kilter characters. Although all of his films have a unmistakably dark edge, he isn’t a filmmaker whom has settled for retreading former glories. His films have spanned such varied genres as comic-book adaptations, musicals and even historical biopics.
His most recent ‘Frankenweenie’ is a remake of a short film made when he was 26 and is perhaps the only Disney film you’ll ever see which is about a dead dog (‘Old Yeller’ doesn‘t count). To celebrate its release in UK cinemas this week, it’s a great time to take a look back at Burton’s eccentric line up of films.
Here’s my personal pick for the top 5 and the bottom 5 Tim Burton movies.
Those That Were Awesome…
1. Ed Wood (1994)
A biopic of the infamous director of Plan 9 From Outer Space, Ed Wood is easily one of Burton’s greatest achievements. Johnny Depp gives one of his best performances as Wood – sporting a pencil mustache and a pair of shiny dentures – as well as injecting a sense of boy-like wonder into his portrayal of the good natured but flawed Ed Wood. The film ended up being something of a flop for Disney, failing to attract audiences despite the major cast. However, it gained significant critical acclaim and two Oscar awards, while it’s recently been rediscovered by many of Burton’s fans.
What really makes Ed Wood so fantastic is that despite having the opportunity to merely laugh at Wood’s ineptitude, you really get the sense that Burton has a genuine affection for Wood. After all, this wasn’t a man who set out to make bad movies, this was someone with a passionate love for cinema who sadly lacked any true talent at filmmaking. In the hands of another director it could have been nothing more than a knowing spoof, but Burton gives us a genuinely affecting character study which will have you surprisingly moved during the final sequence.
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