For a long time, as long as I can remember, in varying degrees of excitement and comfort, one of the things I have loved about Christmas, is when it is not exactly Christmas – but you can feel it. It’s certainly stronger as the festive season kicks into gear, but it is a feeling of joy and anticipation you yearn for, all the while enjoying the progressive journey towards Christmas Day itself. A bit like the awards season I guess, where you build up your hopes for months, then in the end you don’t get what you wanted. But that is for another time and place.
Edward Scissorhands into that category. But there is no denying the yuletide appeal of Tim Burton’s gem – possibly his greatest work. And part of the film is very much set at Christmas to boot. You can equate anything to Christmas, sure, but Edward Scissorhands holds much such criteria to bring us closer to the festive season than many, many other Christmas movies that try to go the direct route.
Burton might as well be a toymaker at Christmas time here, his visionary film-makers and talented cast, reindeer and elves if you wish. I mean, in our house, we would love to decorate our home the way Burton decorates his movies. Honestly. Edward Scissorhands brings together all manner of magical notions, and warm innocence, as well as some cold characters, and haunting memories. Christmas can be haunting, right? If Burton says so. At Christmas we embrace love, and discovery, and we employ kindness, and family values – good will to all men and women it seems. Edward Scissorhands’ narrative is full to the brim of these.
Sure, Edward is lonely, and doesn’t have a real family – the sad thing of course there are many out there in a similar boat. We relate to that sorrow, much more than we can to having scissors for hands. We love the idyllic neighborhood, varying colors, the bred-winners all arriving home at the same time. A fantastical form of the simple life. The imagination of the senses, the sensitive, human nature of the story-telling. The ice / snow spray falling, Kim’s arms outstretched, and the romance associated with it. Danny Elfman’s unforgettable, majestic score – of course. I could go on. But you don’t need me to point these wonderful moments out. The film has so many of the elements we long for at Christmas that there’s really no need to count. So, if you ask me, is Edward Scissorhands a Christmas movie in all it’s glory, I would reply, that it feels very much so. Debate over.