Although relatively quiet on the big screen recently, Winona Ryder has come to prominence again on the small screen in Stranger things. She had notable successes in Beetlejuice and Edward Scissor Hands and has had two Oscar nominations. After a relationship with Johnny Depp and an arrest for shoplifting, her personal life has been the subject to no little media scrutiny.
Fortunately her difficult days are in the past and we look forward to more from this compelling actress. Her appearence in the Netflix Original series Stranger Thing is absolutely brilliant. Here are her movies currently streaming on Netflix.
7. Mr Deeds – 2002
Mr Deeds is a romcom in which Ryder stars alongside Adam Sandler. Variously considered underrated and a turkey, this is Sandler attempting to give a little more substance to his usual type cast rather hollow character. Unfortunately, it’s not a touch on Frank Capra’s original – Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936) – for which he won an Oscar. The power of money is the driver, the power of love is the only real winner.
6. The Iceman -2012
This is the true story of Richard Kuklinski. Neither his wife nor daughters had any knowledge of his profession until his arrest in 1986. It is extraordinary that Kuklinski could have been such a devoted family man and yet the cold blooded murderer of over 100 people to order. Winona Ryder plays his wife. Frankly the movie doesn’t do justice to the well written biographical book (and even the book has been debunked) but it’s worth a watch if you’re interested in the mind-set of these sort of people.
5. Looking For Richard – 1996
In this documentary by Al Pacino about a production of Richard III, Winona Ryder has one of the rare pure acting parts. The list of credits for the movie goes on and on and Ryder gets lost in the list. If you’re even slightly into Shakespeare, the documentary opens the doors wide on this particular play and is a must for students on English literature. Interestingly, Richard III is on the London stage currently starring Ralph Fiennes.
4. Experimenter – 2015
Another biographical drama, Experimenter is the story of Stanley Milgram and his social behaviour experiments of the 1960s. Winona Ryder plays the protagonists wife but really this is about Milgram and his ego. The movie hardly romps along indeed its particularly pedestrian. But the performances are good and as a clinical textbook it works. This was Ryders return to the big screen after a self-imposed absence and is a good relaunch for her.
3. Heathers – 1989
An odd one this. Who is likely to have three friends named Heather? And that’s a clue to the eccentricity of this movie. While there are elements of comedy, this is really a drama parody (and it’s a parody rather than a satire) of life in an American School. And we’ve had plenty of those. Christian Slater is fine as the resident nutter and Winona Ryder puts in a good performance as the wannabe. Life can be cruel but this movie doesn’t leave us caring very much.
2. How To Make An American Quilt 1995
Although in the chick flick genre, How To Make An American Quilt is an excellent piece of film making. The intricacy of the interwoven stories are analogised by the quilt of the title. The cast is strong and the performances stronger. Although the mysteries of relationships, grief, growing up, love and women’s place in the world (to name but a few) have been explored forever in the movies, this one has a really nice touch.
1. The Crucible – 1996
Set against the backdrop of the Salem witch hunts in 1692, this is a powerful on screen rendition of Arthur Miller’s stage play. While a great story in its own right (and historically pretty accurate), this was written as an analogy for the communist “witch hunts” in the entertainment industry in 40s and 50s America. While only 23 people are documented as having lost their lives in Salem, 1,000s of lives were ruined by the McCarthy led The House on Unamerican Activities Committee.