Tim Burton’s distinctive directing style and film choices are what make him one of my favourite directors. From Edward Scissorhands to Alice in Wonderland Burton has made films that are dark and sometimes comical; a refreshing change from the average straight forward Hollywood film.
Here are my top 5 Tim Burton films.
5. Mars Attacks
Yes, this film is completely bonkers but that’s what makes it fun to watch. It has an impressive cast with Jack Nicholson as the president, Sarah Jessica Parker as a talking dog and Tom Jones as Tom Jones. Mars Attacks is a black comedy that parodies American culture and classic B movies of the 1950s yet doesn‘t take itself too seriously. As the title suggests, aliens from Mars declare war on earth and it is only through the actions of a few that there is a chance of them being defeated.
4. Big Fish
Big Fish has a similar structure to more popular films like Forrest Gump and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button because it follows the interesting and eventful life of the lead character. Albert Finney plays Edward Bloom who tells his son elaborate and extraordinary tales of his life. The younger Edward Bloom is played by Ewan McGregor and you are left to decide whether the tall tales and interesting characters Bloom has crossed paths with are a true or pure fiction.
Before Christopher Nolan masterfully re-invented the Batman series it was Tim Burton’s vision of Gotham city in 1989 which cemented Burton as a significant director of his generation. Burton put his unforgettable twist on the DC comic character with Michael Keaton starring as the caped crusader and a menacing Jack Nicholson as the Joker.
As the first collaboration between Johnny Depp and Burton, Edward Scissorhands was a great beginning of what would become a successful actor/director partnership. Set in an idyllic American suburb Edward is a quiet and misunderstood man whose scissor hands make him popular and a source of curiosity for the locals. Edward falls in love with the all-American girl next door but everything soon turns sour in this sad romantic fantasy
I would say Sleepy Hollow epitomises Burton’s style as a film director. It is a dark, gothic tale of a town terrorised by the Headless Horseman. Johnny Depp stars as Ichabod Crane, a young skittish officer sent to the town Sleepy Hollow to investigate the recent murders. With Depp’s humorous character, a creepy Christopher Walken as the headless horseman and a chilling story, Sleepy Hollow is definitive proof that Tim Burton is the master of dark and quirky films.