Top 10 Performances in Tim Burton Movies

Tim Burton has returned to television after nearly 20 years to direct four episodes of the dark fantasy comedy series on Netflix. Wednesday. New adaptation of Charles Adams Addams family Characters, the series follows Addams’ eponymous daughter in a coming-of-age supernatural story.


Known for his grotesque and gothic sensibilities, Burton is one of the most influential directors in modern cinema. Many brilliant actors have worked with him, giving career-best performances in his films, some of them even winning awards for their efforts. Although Burton has a gallery of the usual suspects who love working with him, many of the best performances in his films have been from one-time collaborators.

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Kathryn O’Hara – Beetlejuice (1988)

Dahlia spray paint the wall at Beetlejuice

Supporting performances don’t always get the recognition they deserve, especially if their movie has flashier lead roles. However, a good supporting player will make the most of their screen time, sometimes even stealing the show. Such is the case for the gorgeous Kathryn O’Hara in Burton’s 1988 dark fantasy, Beetlejuice.

Related: 10 Tim Burton Acts That Would Be Awesome On Stage

Like Delia Deetz, O’Hara is a camp triumphant. Loud, playful, and theatrical, Delia is one of the most memorable characters in the movie, which is saying a lot considering the competition she faces. Her shining moment comes as the friendly ghosts of her house take over the séance, forcing her and her guests to dance to Harry Belafonte’s “Day-O.”

Danny DeVito – Batman Returns (1992)

Penguin in Batman returns wearing a hat, snarling and showing black teeth

Batman ReturnsBurton’s 1992 gothic take on the superhero genre is more about identity and sexual liberation than the classic superhero story. Thus, the core villains are confused, misplaced “freaks,” with Danny DeVito Penguin acting as their leader.

Blending gruesome intensity with subtle vulnerability, DeVito’s Penguin is a thrilling and rewarding reinvention of the gentleman of crime. The Penguin hasn’t always been a popular character, but DeVito’s method is terrific, and he’s a dashing, brutal outsider bent on revenge. Penguin is the perfect complement to Catwoman, and DeVito almost runs away with the entire movie.

Albert Finney – Big Fish (2003)

Edward will hold Big as they both laugh at Big Fish.

Five-time Academy Award nominee Albert Finney joined Burton’s unique world with 2003’s big fish. Playing the older version of the film’s protagonist, Finney gives a tender, inspiring performance in Burton’s sweeter and more soulful effort.

Fathers and sons are the main theme of the film, and Vinnie bears the weight almost single-handedly. His performance is subtle yet effective, tugging at heart strings without going wild melodrama. big fish It features mesmerizing production values ​​and one of Danny Elfman’s most acclaimed films. However, Vinnie’s performance is the most memorable part of the film, as it is his beating heart.

Winona Ryder – Beetlejuice (1988)

Lydia Dietz floats in her foyer and dances in Beetlejuice.

The late 1980s saw Winona Ryder become the star that would eventually define a generation. roles in Beetlejuice And the Heathers cemented her as the most promising talent in Hollywood, but the former made her look like an outsider. In Lydia’s immortal words, she herself was strange and extraordinary.

Rider performance is the glue Beetlejuice together. Keaton and O’Hara may have the flashier roles, but Ryder is the center of the movie. She dominates the screen, her strange energy powering this strange concoction that shouldn’t work but does. Ryder’s dry delivery contrasts perfectly with the film’s antics, helping him strike a balance that keeps him from going off the rails.

Helena Bonham Carter – Corpse Bride (2005)

The deceased bride smiles at the corpse of the bride

In many ways, Burton’s animation efforts are his best. There is a sense of freedom not found in his live projects, and a desire to be more experimental and thought-provoking. 2005 corpse of the bride is the perfect example, a sweet and wistful exploration of grief, regret, and love.

Voiced by Helena Bonham Carter, Burton’s frequent collaborator, the eponymous character is among the director’s most unique creations. A deceased bride looking to reconnect with someone after her tragic death on her wedding day, Emily is compelling and heartbreaking, thanks largely to Bonham Carter’s excellent work. The voice acting is still somewhat neglected by the industry, but Bonham Carter’s suave delivery conveys Emily’s emotions in ways many live-action actors never will.

Martin Landau – Ed Wood (1994)

Bela Lugosi sits on a chair and frowns at Ed Wood.

Depending on the person, Martin Landau won an Oscar in 1995 for Burton Ed Wood It’s either an inspired choice or a huge mistake. Members Pulp Fiction Samuel L. Jackson will say he was robbed, while major observers will declare that Landau’s win is baffling but far from catastrophic.

However, there is no denying that Landau is magnetic Ed Wood. Playing iconic actor Bela Lugosi is no easy task, but Landau rises to the challenge. Wisely seeking to evoke rather than imitate, Landau captures Lugosi’s spirit while still fitting Burton’s idea of ​​what Wood’s world should look like. It’s a tricky balance to pull, one that is indicative of Landau’s skill as an actor and more than justified his win at the 67th Academy Awards.

Michael Keaton – Beetlejuice (1988)

Michael Keaton looks disoriented in Beetlejuice

Disrespect is one of the most difficult challenges any actor must embody, and a character like Beetlejuice might devour an even less intense actor. However, Michael Keaton is among the most talented artists of his generation, and his portrayal of supernatural error is a prime example of that.

Beetlejuice is a character who can get annoying easily, and he is. However, Keaton’s victory made him a necessary inconvenience. Beetlejuice surprisingly has so little screen time in the movie, but his energy and spirit permeate every frame. He’s a force of nature (or supernatural) who almost gets overwhelmed but never does, providing just enough mayhem to make the movie work. Keaton has appeared in many respected and iconic films, however Beetlejuice It will always be the most unique and impressive.

Jack Nicholson – Batman (1989)

The Joker laughs at Batman

There have been other great portrayals of the Joker, but no one has captured the Clown Prince of Crime side of the Joker better than Jack Nicholson. The three-time Academy Award winner donned the villain’s shoes in Burton’s 1989 film noir defying the Caped Crusader, portraying the Joker with an abundance of flair.

Related: 10 Worst Things The Joker Did To Batman In The Comics

Nicholson’s success comes from understanding the character he’s playing. His Joker looks and acts straight out of a comic book page. He is a character that could not exist in real life, a psychopathic buffoon with an unsettling love of violence. There’s nothing wrong with supervillains, but there’s something lively and refreshing about the performance that embraces the funny side at the heart of comic book content.

Amy Adams – Big Eyes (2014)

Margaret Keane drawing as she turns back and looks into the camera with big eyes

Amy Adams has given consistently great performances since the late ’90s. The pinnacle of her career came in 2010, when she starred in several critically acclaimed films in a row, establishing herself as a versatile actress who excelled in supporting roles and shined as a leading lady.

Burton Biography 2014 big eyes It finds Adams playing Margaret Keane, the divisive artist whose work was initially attributed to her husband. Although formulaic at times and with some really awful wigs, big eyes It works largely because of Adams’ excellent performance. She makes Margaret sympathetic and vulnerable without ever turning her into a complete victim. Adams goes for a measured portrayal, letting emotions show themselves rather than shouting them out at the audience.

Michelle Pfeiffer – Batman Returns (1992)

Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman in Batman Returns

It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that Michelle Pfeiffer gave the best performance ever in a comic book movie as Burton. Batman Returns. What remains depicts the definitive version of Selina Kyle, Pfeiffer presents a fiery, layered portrait of a repressed woman desperate for liberation.

Pfeiffer and Burton aren’t shy about exploring the character’s mental health, which is a surprising angle for picking an early ’90s comic book property. Still, it works, as Pfeiffer sinks her claws into Selena’s fractured psyche and crafting a wonderfully complex picture. Catwoman has become a symbol of female sexuality and liberation thanks to Pfeiffer’s confident, groundbreaking work, which remains the best example of what truly uninhibited comic book performance looks like.

Next: Tim Burton’s 10 Best Disney Projects, Ranked by IMDb

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