Today’s Pop Five: undeadhead’s tribute to Winona Ryder

Tuesday, Aug 24, 2010

The Pop Five is a series of Pop Candy readers’ top five lists. Today’s contribution comes from Kristy L. in Pittsburgh:
Molly Ringwald is the queen of ’80s-era teen comedies, but I’ve always identified more with Winona Ryder.

In high school, I was an outsider like Dinky Bosetti (Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael) and had the same religion-induced neuroses as Charlotte Flax (Mermaids). I also possessed a Rina-esque sensitivity that attracted guys in a let’s-just-be-friends sort of way (Lucas). For the record, I did not pull a Myra and marry my piano-playin’ cousin (Great Balls of Fire).

From her 1986 debut through the mid-1990s, Winona’s film canon reflected my adolescence. Then, a strange thing happened: Winona stopped making movies that mattered to me. For the first time in more than a decade, I didn’t have a cinematic soulmate.

I’m still searching.

The Pop 5 Things I Miss About Winona Ryder:
5. Her Goth girl look. I still picture Winona as her Beetlejuice character, Lydia Deetz: a black-haired, pale-skinned manic depressive chick whose whole life is “one … big … dark … room.” It seems Madeleine Martin, the 17-year-old actress who plays Becca Moody on Showtime’s Californication, is trying to channel Lydia Deetz, but to no avail. Maybe she should call Otho.

4. Her ability to rock a monocle. I’ve penned my fair share of frantic, late-night diary entries, but I’ve never sported a monocle while doing so. Only Veronica Sawyer (Heathers) and Mr. Peanut could get away with such a bold, ophthalmic fashion statement.

3. Her relationship with Johnny Depp. I’m not the kind of person who cares about celebrity romances, but I admit, I was emotionally invested in the love affair between Winona and Johnny. They were the “Brangelina” of the ’90s, only with fewer kids and more talent. When the pair broke up, Johnny had his “Winona Forever” tattoo modified to say “Wino Forever.” That’s heartbreakingly awesome.

2. Her quirky roles. If I could give Winona one piece of advice, it would be to work with Tim Burton again. The offbeat director of Beetlejuice and Edward Scissorhands can showcase her talents better than some romantic tear-jerker like Autumn in New York. Shoplifting is the quirkiest thing Ms. Ryder’s done this decade — too bad the only cameras rolling at the time were surveillance cameras.

1. Her believability. Two decades ago, I connected with Winona because she seemed like a real person, not a studio-fabricated starlet. There’s a scene in Mermaids that, as a former dateless wonder, I can totally relate to. Charlotte is walking with her crush (Jake Ryan from Sixteen Candles!) to a fishing pond. She stumbles down an embankment, he catches her and — for a split second — she lustfully tongues the sleeve of his jacket. That lick alone should have earned her an Academy Award.

Source: Pop Candy

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